Supporters of Egypt's army chief and defense minister General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi celebrate the passing of a new constitution at Tahrir Square in Cairo January 18, 2014. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany
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More than 98 percent of voters backed a new Egyptian constitution in a referendum this week, authorities said on Saturday, though the turnout was lower than some officials had indicated, with under 40 percent of the electorate taking part.The "yes" vote was 98.1 percent, and 38.6 percent of eligible voters took part, Salib told reporters.However, it exceeded the 32.9 percent turnout in a referendum that backed the previous Islamist-tinged constitution under Morsi in 2012 .Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, which has been designated a terrorist organisation and faces a fierce security crackdown, boycotted the vote and accuses the army of having staged a military coup against Morsi.Morsi's opponents say the referendum will help to neutralise the Brotherhood, which had won every election since 2011 but became deeply unpopular after Morsi's year in office.
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