Factbox: Views of Egyptians voting in historic ballot

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 21, 2011 11:55 AM
Factbox: Views of Egyptians voting in historic ballot

(Reuters) - Following are quotes from public figures and ordinary Egyptians voting on Saturday in a historic referendum on constitutional amendments.

It was the first vote since President Hosni Mubarak was toppled from power by a mass uprising and the first in living memory whose outcome was not known in advance.

IN CAIRO:

AMR MOUSSA, ARAB LEAGUE CHAIRMAN AND PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE

"I am so happy with this big turnout as this is the real practice of democracy."

PRIME MINISTER ESSAM SHARAF

"What is happening today is a celebration of democracy."

YEHIA EL-GAMAL, DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER

"I feel so happy today seeing crowds of people lined up in queues waiting to vote."

MOHAMED BADIE, HEAD OF THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD GROUP

"This is freedom and democracy, indeed this is Islam. The people are the source of sovereignty and decisions. I say clearly on behalf of Muslim Brotherhood, we have called on Egyptians to go down and vote to make their own voice heard."

MUSTAFA FOUAD, 24, ENGINEER

"I voted yes, yes for stability and for things to go back to normal."

ATEF FAROUK, 41, ACCOUNTANT

"I voted for no. This is not enough ... We want a new constitution."

HABY SOUD, MOVIE DIRECTOR

"I voted no because I don't agree with the proposed changes that will not lead to anything but a fast election that will get us a parliament made up of the Muslim Brotherhood and (the former ruling) National Democratic Party.

"We need more time for new parties to be formed. Stability won't come by people voting yes, it will come when things get done right and with this taking the time it deserves."

AHMED SAMIH FARAG, ACTIVIST AND VOTE MONITOR

"For the first time in Egypt's election history, we are seeing queuing. That is something I never thought I would see in my life. It is too early to tell what the voter turnout is, but it is clear that this is unprecedented."

OM SAYYED, 65

"I am here for my sons and my grandsons. The country is finally ours and we will never let it slip again by staying at home when we should be right here, in line, to make our voices heard."

AHMED AL-HAMI, 53, ACCOUNTANT

"I'm 53 and I have never voted before because they were all rigged. Probably somebody else voted in my name. It was all thuggery and I couldn't have got in anyway. But now I am voting for freedom."

IN ALEXANDRIA:

ADEL AL-SHARKAWI, 79, DOCTOR

"I came to vote today because I felt that Egypt now belongs to the Egyptians and the debate around 'yes' and 'no' will make people take interest in the country's social and political shape."

MUSAD TAHER, 23, ENGINEERING STUDENT

"I came today because I am confident there is no forgery, this is something positive."

ADEL SALEM, 31, DIVING INSTRUCTOR

"I voted yes because yes means stability, the return of security and that the wheel of productivity will begin to turn again."

IN ISMAILIA:

ISLAM ABOU ZAID, 20, STUDENT IN FACULTY OF COMMERCE

"The environment is so positive, there is full supervision by judges."

IN SUEZ:

KARIM MOHAMED, 32, EMPLOYEE IN A MARINE SERVICES FIRM

"I felt freedom after voting. It's the first time I have voted so easily without fear or terrorism."

IN IKHSAF, VILLAGE SOUTH OF CAIRO:

MURAD ABDEL NABI

"I am voting yes so that the revolution will be stable and for the safety of the country."

IN HELWAN, INDUSTRIAL TOWN SOUTH OF CAIRO:

MUSTAFA ABDEL QADER, LAWYER

"Everyone agrees on a new constitution. I say yes now so that we know the way forward. If we vote no, the way ahead is not clear."

(Reporting by Dina Zayed, Marwa Awad, Shaimaa Fayed and Sarah Mikhail, Jonathan Wright and Yasmine Saleh in Cairo, Abdel Rahman Youssef in Alexandria and Yusri Mohamed in Ismailia, Writing by Yasmine Saleh)