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Egypt votes on new charter as army chief eyes presidency

Published on Jan 14, 2014 12:16 PM

CAIRO (AFP) - Egyptians vote for a new Constitution on Tuesday in a referendum seen as a test of support for a presidential bid by army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, almost seven months after he toppled Mohamed Mursi.

An Islamist coalition led by Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood has called for a boycott and "civilised peaceful protests" during the two-day referendum, but the interior ministry has pledged to "decisively" confront any attempts to disrupt voting.

The military-installed government hopes the vote, the first since Mursi's overthrow in July, will shore up its disputed authority after a brutal crackdown on Mursi's Islamist supporters, who have denounced the "sham referendum".

While it is uncertain how many Egyptians will vote amid concern over violence and militant attacks, the constitution appears certain to pass.

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