Middle East

Egypt referendum: Your reaction

The official results of the referendum on Egypt's new draft constitution have been announced.

The unofficial results suggest the majority of voters support the document endorsed by Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. If the constitution is adopted, it will enable Egypt to elect a new parliament and build state institutions.

However, the opposition says the constitution has an Islamist agenda, and has urged the election commission to investigate alleged polling irregularities.

Egyptians tell the BBC their thoughts on the vote.

Ayman Qenawi, Giza

Image caption Ayman Qenawi voted for the constitution

I voted in favour of the draft constitution. It was partially because I did not find any major problems with the text, and partially as a protest vote against a Machiavellian opposition that spread, or at has least turned a blind eye to spreading sheer lies and allegations about the text just to mobilise the public against it.

They dared to claim that only Islamists, their sympathisers and the underprivileged illiterate would support such a charter.

My voting centre was in a rather underprivileged Giza suburb called Zinein. I stood in line for about 15-20 minutes.

I did not see anyone trying to influence me or other voters. I checked the identity of the judge in my polling centre and shook hands with him after casting my ballot, to thank him for not joining other judges who had boycotted the vote supervision (something which I deeply resent because it's a duty and legal obligation for judges).

I am hoping that things calm down. I want to see the president, the Islamists and the opposition co-operate to save the country from an economic collapse and bankruptcy.

But I'm afraid that might not happen because both the Islamists and the opposition continue to drag their heels with their eyes on the upcoming legislative polls, due in less than three months.

I do not think the charter favours Islamists per se. The leading figures of the so-called liberal forces in the constituent assembly subscribed to and signed a document containing compromise wording for the most contentious articles of the draft constitution, before withdrawing from the assembly and claiming that somehow the Islamists tricked them into signing the paper.

That is too hard for me to swallow.

The opposition wanted to mobilise the public against the draft charter and the best way to do that was by suggesting the text favoured the Islamists, playing on increasing uneasiness about Islamists and their future agenda among many Egyptians.

I think we voters have the right to make sure the voting was free and fair and that irregularities, if any happened, are fully investigated and if there are any culprits, that they are held accountable.

Ayman Nassar, Cairo

Image caption Ayman Nassar said no to the draft constitution

I voted no in the referendum.

What has happened in Egypt is an irony of Shakespearean proportion: the jailers are now the prisoners, and the prisoners are now the jailers.

Whereas the old era of the Mubarak regime used to blatantly fake election results, the new regime is preying on the illiterate and uneducated. You have only to watch the news to understand their ploy.

They have made it a war against Islam, as opposed to a socio-political scheme. Forty percent of Egypt is uneducated - they cannot read or write. One does not say they are oblivious; however, their opinion is easily swayed, whether it be by the preacher at their mosque, or the one distributing foodstuffs to them.

Will the "yes" win by a majority? Yes. Will it be true? Yes, to an extent. The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) have preyed on the fears of the uneducated, leading them to believe it is their religious duty to vote yes. If you watch the TV channels, the majority of those citing yes are saying yes to Islam, not to the constitution.

The MB (Freedom & Justice Party) are using the same "scare tactics" previously employed by the previous regime to influence voter emotion. Their persistent and recurring argument against any that seek to deny MB rule is: why are you against Sharia if you are Muslim? Why are you against Islam? This haymaker of a rebuttal to a legitimate inquiry by those that have read and disagree with the constitution means many stop with an awkward pause.

Arabic is such a language that the simple addition of a mere letter to a word can completely change the entire meaning of it.

And therein lies the problem: those reading the constitution are not familiar with "legalese", or terminology used in legal proceedings. Hence, anyone short of a lawyer or judge reading the constitution will not be fully versed in all its meanings.

The majority claiming to support the constitution on TV are illiterate and claim they support "Islam", further proving the point that they have no idea what machinations exist within the apparently subtle texts of the constitution.

Ahmed Ahmed, Cairo

Image caption Ahmed Ahmed did not vote

I actually did not vote, and haven't taken part in any of the voting so far.

But if I had voted, I would have voted yes. Many of my relatives voted yes.

I think most people want the basic things such as stability and security now. There are some in my family, typically of the older generation that grew up in former Prime Minister Gamal Abdul Nasser's era, so they obviously voted no.

They have an irrational fear of the Muslim Brotherhood. People wanted democracy but unfortunately if the results are contrary to what they had hoped for, they start to undermine the whole process. The people have chosen Morsi, and now they have said yes to the constitution.

It seems that a large percentage do want Islam to play a role in governance.

I'm an Egyptian living in Egypt, but who was brought up in the UK, yet I am surprised how biased and shameless the media here in Egypt are. It's pretty much a non-stop attack on Mursi and anyone aligned to him.

Scant attention is given to any real evidence.

They should be able to see that the former regime and some opposition figures who are externally supported are just manipulating events for their own benefit.

Morsi won the election, he is the president, the majority said yes to the constitution and the country is on the verge of collapse, so it does not benefit anyone to continue this uncertainty and strife.

Those who are sincere about the well-being of the nation should encourage calm and unity. I am not Brotherhood at all, but without a shadow of a doubt, regardless of my differences with the Brotherhood, Morsi is by far the most capable and trustworthy than those figures who seem to be dominating the news currently.

He is by far better than anything Egypt has seen for a very long time. I just want a stable country. Egyptians have had a hard time, they deserve more, there's so much potential here. That's what I hope for.

Nothing concerns me about the constitution; it's actually very good. Obviously, imprisonment and torture were standard procedure here, and I feel that the constitution goes a long way to protect the people from the sorts of abuses they used to suffer.

Legal representation is guaranteed if detained; freedom of religion and freedom of speech are also protected, Unfortunately, the last aspect is currently being abused here.

The opposition boycotted the drafting of the constitution, and said they would boycott the voting also, so they should really be silent now.

Their stances are consistently negative and disruptive and we are better off without them.

I don't believe that there was any real fraud, at least nothing major that would have impacted the overall results.