Supporters of Egypt's army chief and defense minister General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi hold up posters of Sisi as they celebrate the passing of a new constitution at Tahrir Square in Cairo January 18, 2014. (REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany)
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The approval of Egypt's constitution bolsters the powerful army chief but a large number of youths who helped topple two presidents within three years shunned the vote on the new charter.Egyptian voters have approved the Tuesday-Wednesday referendum by 98.1 percent, officials announced Saturday, and the results are seen as nod to Gen. Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi to run for president. Sisi led the overthrow of Islamist President Mohammad Morsi in July following massive protests against his one year-rule, which came after a popular uprising in 2011 toppled his predecessor Hosni Mubarak. Sisi had urged the youths to participate in the referendum, saying they formed "more than 50 percent" of Egypt's 85-million population.The new charter replaces an Islamist-inspired one adopted in a December 2012 referendum under Morsi with about two-thirds of the vote and a 33 percent turnout.Prominent youth leaders of the 2011 uprising against Mubarak have been jailed in recent weeks.
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