Most Egyptians will vote yes to constitution, but yet to read it: Poll

Ahram Online, Wednesday 8 Jan 2014

76% of respondents to December poll said they take part in next week's referendum, and 74% of those will vote yes


Over half of Egyptians have not read the newly amended constitution, according to a new opinion poll -- although the charter will be put to national referendum next week.

Fifty-nine percent of the respondents to a poll in late December by private polling organisation Baseera said they had not read the new charter, while 36 percent said they had read "parts" of it.

Seventy-six percent of those polled plan to take part in the upcoming referendum, scheduled for 14-15 January down from 84 percent in a Baseera poll last October.

Fourteen percent of those polled said they would opt for a boycott of the referendum and 10 percent said they had not yet decided on whether to participate. 

The report said that education levels did not discernibly affect the way respondents plan to participate.

Some 74 percent of those who said they planned to cast their ballots will vote in favour of the national charter, three percent will vote against it, while 23 percent said they were undecided, the report revealed.

Twenty-two percent of those who said they would boycott attributed their decision to "personal reasons," while 13 percent said they believed their vote would be "useless." Eleven percent said they were not engaged in politics and nine percent said the move stemmed from their "dissatisfaction" with the charter.

Islamist supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi have called for a boycott of the vote, the first electoral poll since the ouster of Morsi in the summer after mass protests against him. It will be followed by parliamentary elections and a presidential poll by mid-2014.

Eight percent of those polled had not heard about the referendum. Of those who were aware, 76 percent knew the date of the poll.

The poll also found older respondents were more approving of the document than younger people. Eighty-four percent of over 50s said they would vote yes, while the ratings were lower (60 percent) amongst 18-29 year olds.

Based on the report's findings, 57 percent believe the referendum would be a fair one and five percent said transparency is conditional on several factors including army's security, judicial supervision and "keeping a way" Muslim Brotherhood members.

Twelve percent said they thought the referendum would not be fair, while 27 percent answered that they didn't know.  

Baseera said a total of 2,068 adults from across Egypt's 27 governorates were questioned via telephone on 24 and 26 December. Sixty-five percent of those polled responded. The report says the poll's margin of error stands at less than three percent.

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