Printed on: December 24, 2012

Opposition claims fraud in Egyptian referendum


CAIRO (AP) -- Egypt's opposition said Sunday it will keep fighting the Islamist-backed constitution after the Muslim Brotherhood, the main group backing the charter, claimed it passed with a 64 percent "yes" vote in a referendum.

The opposition alleged vote fraud and demanded an investigation, a sign that the referendum will not end the turmoil that has roiled this country for nearly two years since the uprising that ousted authoritarian leader Hosni Mubarak. Many Egyptians, especially the tens of millions who live in extreme poverty, had hoped the new constitution might usher in stability.

Official results are not expected until today. If the unofficial numbers are confirmed, it will be a victory for Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, who is from the Brotherhood.

But the opposition allegations look likely to prolong the fight. Beyond allegations of fraud, the opposition will likely challenge new laws issued on the basis of the constitution as well as Morsi's economic policies.