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Egypt Islamists claim lead in constitution vote

Published on Dec 23, 2012 9:03 AM
Polls closed in Egypt on Saturday in the final round of a referendum on a divisive new constitution championed by President Mohamed Mursi Islamists, on a day that also saw the vice-president resign. -- PHOTO: AFP

CAIRO (AFP) - Egypt's ruling Islamists claimed on Sunday that preliminary referendum results showed strong backing for a divisive constitution rejected by the secular opposition, hours after polls closed and tallying began.

The Freedom and Justice Party, headed by President Mohamed Mursi before his election, said in a statement that 73.7 per cent had voted for the constitution, with votes tallied from almost two thirds of polling stations.

The preliminary results for the referendum's second round are collected from returning officers who oversee the count. Official results are expected within two days.

On the eve of Saturday's polling, clashes in Egypt's second city Alexandria injured 62 people as stone-throwing mobs torched vehicles, underlining the turmoil gripping the Arab world's most populous nation.

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