Al Sied Morsi, brother of Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi, casts his vote during constitutional referendum, at a polling station at al-Adwa village in Zagazig, Sharqiya Governorate, Saturday (Photo: Reuters)
"Egyptian people have spoken their mind" declares the Muslim Brotherhood's political arm on Sunday, who also release their own count ahead of official results of the first half of the referendum on the divisive constitution.
The Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) statement on the official Brotherhood website, ikhwanonline.com details that 4,604,110 voted 'Yes,' in the first stage of the plebiscite, where 10 of the 27 governorates voted. The 'No' votes they say came to 3,539,994.
"The Egyptian people have expressed their free will in the first stage of the constitutional referendum and have also proved to be highly aware; this is a genuine democratic process," the party asserts.
The statement explains that the approval is largely driven by Egyptians' urge to truly see a nation based on constitutional legitimacy and one that strives for stability.
Furthermore, they assert, this process took place within an atmosphere of integrity and full transparency, under full judicial supervision and in the presence of international media and rights organisations.
More than just thanking all those who voted and participated in the referendum, including the judiciary and security forces in preserving a safe and professional environment for citizens to exercise their rights, the Freedom and Justice Party also called on Egyptians to carry on their participation into the second phase where the remaining 17 governorates will vote on 22 December.
There have been many reports of "questionable" tactics employed at polling stations, and various stations were short of judicial supervisors because judges had vowed to boycott the referendum in protest against the draft constitution.
The opposition umbrella group the National Salvation Front has however countered the results presented by the FJP, claiming instead that sixty-six per cent of Egyptians voted 'No' in the first phase of the country's constitutional referendum. The front also added that it had detected "unprecedented rigging" including 750 violations across the ten governorates.