CAIRO — More than 98 percent of Egyptians voted in favor of a new constitution heavily promoted by Egypt’s military-backed government, according to final official results released Saturday.
Results of the referendum held Tuesday and Wednesday were depicted by the military-backed interim government as a public repudiation of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist movement that Egyptian authorities have spent the past six months trying to crush.
The tally of 98.1 percent in favor tracked with unofficial results released two days earlier, which suggested overwhelming backing.
According to the official results, voter turnout was 38.6 percent, slightly higher than the unofficial tallies had suggested, and more than 5 percentage points higher than turnout in a constitutional referendum last year, during the tenure of since-ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.
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Egyptian officials had expressed determination to bring more voters to the polls than had turned out for the Morsi-era vote.
The new constitution, drafted by a government-appointed panel, enhances some personal freedoms and promotes women’s rights, but also strengthens the hand of Egypt’s military. The country’s military chief, Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, said before the balloting that he would consider a big win to be an expression of the people’s will that he run for president.