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Voices of Egypt's voters on draft constitution

January 14, 2014
Associated Press

CAIRO (AP) — Egyptians voted on a draft constitution Tuesday, a referendum that will decide whether the country adopts a text drawn up under the military-backed interim government that ousted Egypt's Islamist president in a July coup. Politicians and analysts see the vote as a test of the government's popularity, and as paving the way for a presidential run by Defense Minister Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.

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"I voted yes because I think we are in a crisis. This constitution is not perfect, but we need to move forward and fix it later." — Ameena Abd Al-Salaama, 65, after voting on her way to the market in the upscale neighborhood of Zamalek.

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"The Muslim Brotherhood is like a headless chicken giving its last breath, and a yes vote will mean their end. I am here to send a message to the world and to those who hate Egypt that we want to live and get our country back on its feet." — Alaa al-Nabi Mohammed, 67, in the Cairo neighborhood of Imbaba.

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"This constitution is not built on legitimacy. I am not going to vote. I know it will pass whether we like it or not. But I won't participate in anything I am not convinced of. And if I say anything against it, I will be arrested. Keeping silent is better." —Hani Abdel-hakim, a 33-year old argued with a street vendor outside a polling station in the Islamist stronghold of Assuit.

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"Those boycotting are desperate and it's not the way that would make the Muslim Brotherhood part of the political process again. This will only exclude them from the political process." — Amr Moussa, foreign minister and chairman of the panel that wrote the Egypt's draft constitution.

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"I will say yes today. I voted yes in the last referendum and I'll say yes again. I will say yes because we need the country to be safe, we need progress. God only knows if things will actually change."— Fatma Ahmed, 58, a sandwich seller near a polling station in Nasser City.

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"To be honest, I can't go and vote. I was with the demonstrators at the Rabaa sit-in and I saw them die. For me, this referendum has no legitimacy." — Ahmed Zakaria, 24, who works at a sandwich stand near a polling station and the Rabaa Adawiyya Mosque, where security forces violently broke up a sit-in of former President Mohammed Morsi supporters this summer. Some 300 were killed.

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"You must come out and vote to prove to those behind the dark terrorism that you are not afraid,"— Interim President Adly Mansour, after he voted early in the day.

 
 

 

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