World Bulletin / News Desk
A major anti-coup bloc on Tuesday claimed rigging marred the first day of a referendum on a revised version of Egypt's 2012 suspended constitution.
"Rigging, which had prevailed under [toppled president] Hosni Mubarak, has returned again," the National Alliance for the Defense of Legitimacy said in a statement.
It cited mass voting, arrest of human rights activists and turning polling centers into military barracks as main features of the first day of voting.
The alliance, which is boycotting the vote, gave no details about the claims.
But the claim was dismissed by activists and observes, who argued that the voting saw minor violations that do not undermine the integrity of the process.
Tareq Saad, an official in the Administrative Development Ministry, said that state-of-the-art technology is being used to expose rigging and prevent multiple voting.
"There is cooperation between all executive bodies to secure the polling stations and guarantee the integrity of the voting process," he said.
The constitutional referendum is the first step of an army-imposed transitional roadmap following its ouster of elected president Mohamed Morsi in July.
The plan also calls for fresh presidential and parliamentary elections sometime this year.
Polls opened Wednesday in Egypt for the second and last day of a nationwide referendum.
Anti-coup protesters hold 'parallel' vote on Egypt constitution
Defiant supporters of Egypt's ousted president Mohamed Morsi held a "parallel" referendum on Tuesday in response to what they described as a "farce" of the vote on a revised version of Egypt's 2012 suspended constitution.
The symbolic poll was held in the town of Housh Eissa in the Nile Delta province of Beheira.
"This is our response to this farcical referendum," a spokesman for the anti-coup National Alliance for the Defense of Legitimacy in the town told Anadolu Agency.
Voters have the option to either say "No" or "boycott" in the symbolic vote.
Moderate turnout on first day
Egyptian official estimates have cited varying voter turnout in 13 provinces on the first day of a national referendum on a revised version of Egypt's 2012 suspended constitution.
The highest voter turnout was reported in the central Fayoum province, while the lowest was registered in the border province of Matrouh.
Fayoum governor Hazem Attiyallah put the turnout in the central province at nearly 70 percent of the registered voters.
The turnout, however, stood at nearly 50 percent of voters in the central Minya province, an official in the state-run operations room told Anadolu Agency.
In the Nile Delta province of Menoufiya, the turnout on the first day of the vote was reported between 40 to 45 percent of registered voters, according to Wael Omran, the deputy chief of the general election commission.
Voter turnout reached 50 percent in the Nile Delta province of Sharqiya, according to a judicial source in the election commission.
Some 181,650 voters, or about 40 percent of registered voters, cast their ballot in the canal city of Port Said on the first day of the referendum, governor Samah Qandil said.
There are 453,377 registered voters in the province.
Some 254,480 voters, or about 35 percent of the registered voters, cast ballot in the canal city of Ismailia, according to the provincial operations room.
About 35 percent of voters cast their ballot in the Nile Delta province of Gharbiya on the first day of the plebiscite, according to election commission chief in the province Madbouli Kassab.
In the coastal province of Alexandria, voter turnout was reported between 25 to 30 percent, a judicial source said.
Another judicial official said that no less than 20 percent of voters turned out on the first day of the referendum in the canal province of Suez.
Between 35 to 40 percent of registered voters turned out on the first day of the two-day referendum in the Upper Egyptian province of Assiut, governor Ibrahim Hammad said.
In the Red Sea province in south-eastern Egypt, only 19 percent of registered voters turned out on the first day of the vote.
In North Sinai, a source in the province's operations room put the voter turnout at 17.2 percent of the registered voters.
In the border Matruh province, about 10.8 percent of registered voters cast their ballot on Tuesday.
8 confirmed dead in clashes
The Egyptian Health Ministry announced Tuesday evening that eight people had died, including three of natural causes, on the first day of a nationwide referendum on an amended version of Egypt's suspended 2012 constitution.
In a statement, the ministry said that two people in Cairo and one in Giza had died of natural causes.
The ministry described as "homicide" the deaths of four people in the Upper Egyptian province of Sohag and one in the central Beni Sueif province.
The Interior Ministry had earlier said that four people had been killed and 17 injured in Sohag during an attempt by the "terrorist" Muslim Brotherhood to disrupt the balloting.
Earlier Tuesday, sources in the National Alliance for the Defense of Legitimacy, the main support bloc of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, said that six people had been killed in referendum-related clashes between protesters and security forces.
According to the same sources, two people were shot dead in the Giza village of Nahia and another was killed in Giza's town of Ossem.
Two more people were killed in Sohag and another in Beni Sueif, they added.Last Mod: 15 Ocak 2014, 09:49