Egypt to declare result of constitution referendum

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 21, 2011 12:08 PM

CAIRO (Reuters) - Votes have been counted in a referendum on proposed constitutional changes that will determine how quickly Egypt can hold elections after Hosni Mubarak was toppled, the judicial oversight body said on Sunday.

Approval of the amendments will allow Egypt's military rulers to move along the path they have charted toward parliamentary and presidential elections that will allow them to hand power back to a civilian, elected government.

The military has said a parliamentary election could happen as early as September, with a presidential election after that.

Rejection of the amendments would force a change in plan that will possibly delay the elections.

"All the polling stations in Cairo and the governorates ... have finished the voting and the counting process and all documents and results have been delivered," Mohammed Ahmed Attiyah, the head of the supreme judicial committee supervising the voting, said in a statement.

He did not indicate what the result was or say when it would be announced. Independent election monitors said they expected results later on Sunday.

The vote, designed to usher in free legislative and presidential elections, has divided the country's reform movement between those who favor the amendments and others who demand that the constitution be completely rewritten.

(Reporting by Yasmine Saleh; Writing by Edmund Blair; Editing by Jon Boyle)