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Egyptians vote on disputed constitution

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02:41 PM December 22nd, 2012

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December 22nd, 2012 02:41 PM

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi AP

CAIRO — Egyptians are voting in the second and final phase of a referendum on an Islamist-backed constitution that has divided their nation.

The Saturday vote is taking place in 17 of Egypt’s 27 provinces with about 25 million eligible voters. The first phase on Dec. 15 produced a “yes” majority of about 56 percent with a turnout of some 32 percent, according to unofficial results.

Saturday’s vote comes a day after clashes between supporters and opponents of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria. The violence is the latest episode in more than four weeks of turmoil over the president’s powers and the constitution, adopted by a panel of Islamists without liberal and Christian participation.

A comfortable “yes” majority would strengthen Morsi and his Islamist backers.

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