London: Egypt's bitter political tug-of-war has entered an uncertain new phase after an electoral commission announced that the new constitution had been decisively approved, which opponents complained was riddled with fraud.
In a significant victory for the country's Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi, the commission chairman, Judge Samir Abou Al-Maaty, told a news conference in Cairo that 63.8 per cent of voters had backed the constitution in the two-stage referendum.
According to the Telegraph, he said allegations of fraud and irregularities, as claimed by the secularist opposition, had been investigated and found to be baseless.
The referendum was held on two successive Saturdays, on December 15 and 22, because many of the judges needed to supervise voting went on strike.
Voting was preceded by a series of violent street clashes between Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood supporters and the opposition.
The constitution's acceptance means that parliamentary elections are likely to be held within two months, the report added.