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84pct of Egyptians will vote on constitution, 12pct reject 50-member committee: Baseera poll

Latest polling shows a majority of Egyptian citizens will vote in an upcoming referendum on amending the 2012 Constitution, while 12 percent reject the process

Ahram Online, Wednesday 9 Oct 2013
50-member committee
The 50-member committee (Photo: Al-Ahram)

The latest opinion poll by the Egyptian Centre for Public Opinion Research (Baseera) indicates that only 12 percent of Egyptians reject the 50-member committee formed to amend the 2012 Constitution, with 84 percent intending to participate in the referendum that will follow submission of a final draft, Al-Ahram Arabic website reports.

Millions of Egyptians hit the streets 30 June to protest against Mohamed Morsi, who hails from the Muslim Brotherhood, citing political and financial grievances. The former president was ousted three days later as part of a political roadmap that included amending the 2012 Constitution. The roadmap was agreed upon by many political forces, as well as Al-Azhar and the Coptic Church, and was enforced by the armed forces. 

Egypt's presidential spokesman announced 1 September the names of the 50-member committee tasked with amending the 2012 constitution, which is temporarily suspended.

Thirty-five percent of Egyptians who participated in the Baseera survey say they approve of the committee's formation whereas 12 percent reject it. Meanwhile, 16 percent were not aware that a committee had been formed and 26 percent were undecided on its merit.

Security as first priority

Regarding respondents' priorities for the constitution, security and stability came first at 28 percent, justice and equality at 14 percent, creating job opportunities at 11 percent, followed by improving education, providing healthcare and safeguarding human rights and freedoms.

Egypt has been in the grip of nationwide violence since 14 August when the police and the army dispersed by force two sit-ins of supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi in Cairo.

A state of emergency was imposed later in the day amid clashes that left more than 600 dead and over 40 officers killed.

The presidency declared in a statement that the measure was in response to "assaults on public and private property as well as killings by extremist groups."

More than 40 churches were burnt or looted, allegedly by Morsi sympathisers, in the ensuing turmoil.

Meanwhile, North Sinai governorate has witnessed violent confrontations between Egyptian security forces and suspected jihadist groups, with dozens killed on both sides. 

Egyptians favour workers, farmers quota

The Baseera poll also revealed that 66 percent of Egyptians agree on continuing to reserve 50 percent of seats in parliament for workers and farmers, as per Article 229 of the 2012 Constitution.

On another controversial front, the poll revealed that 41 percent of Egyptians prefer to abolish the Shura Council, with 34 percent believing it should be retained. Twenty-five percent were undecided.

The polling was conducted by Baseera in all Egyptian governorates between 25 and 26 September on a sample of 1,724 Egyptians.

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