Egypt Islamists Say Charter Passed in Referendum

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A majority of Egyptians have backed a controversial new charter in a two-round referendum that deeply polarised the country, ruling Islamists and the official media said on Sunday.

The Muslim Brotherhood, which President Mohamed Morsi hails from, and the official Al-Ahram newspaper reported that about 64 percent of vote cast were in favour of the charter, according to preliminary results from Sunday's second round of voting.

Turnout over both rounds was roughly 32 percent, according to the Muslim Brotherhood figures posted on its Twitter account.

The results are based on reports from returning officials from all but a few stations over the two rounds, which were held a week apart. The election committee will announce the official final results within two days.

The new constitution, drafted by an Islamist-dominated council boycotted by Christians and liberals, is expected to go into effect this week.

It will grant the senate full legislative powers until a new parliament is elected to replace the Islamist dominated assembly annulled by a court before Morsi took office in June.

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