Polls in Egypt close after final day of voting on new constitution: state media

by Reuters
Wednesday, 15 January 2014 19:12 GMT

(Adds beginning of vote counting, background)

CAIRO, Jan 15 (Reuters) - Polls across Egypt closed on Wednesday evening, state media reported, after a second and final day of voting on a draft constitution that could pave the way for a presidential bid by army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Though voting passed off more peacefully than on Tuesday, when nine people were killed, officials said police arrested at least 79 people during protests by supporters of deposed President Mohamed Mursi, who was removed from power by Sisi in July.

State television reported that counting had begun, and unofficial results could filter out within hours.

The constitution was expected to pass easily. There has been little or no sign of a campaign against it following a fierce government crackdown on Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood.

Sisi, who deposed Mursi after mass protests against his rule, appeared to link a decision on his presidential bid to the result, though analysts say his candidacy appears to be a foregone conclusion. (Reporting by Ali Abdelatti; Writing by Maggie Fick; Editing by Tom Perry and Sonya Hepinstall)

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