Egypt Referendum 2011
A referendum was held in Egypt on March 19 following the 2011 Egyptian Revolution. This referendum ratified a series of constitutional changes, or patching, to the old authoritarian 1971 Constitution to make it more democratic and slightly weaken the powers of the president and strengthen independent judicial mechanisms. Notably, the changes include limiting the President to two consecutive terms of four years; judicial oversight of elections; require the new parliament to write a new constitution and reformed the presidential nominating process. Ratifying these amendments speeds up the process towards the end of military rule, given that parliamentary elections would be held in September and presidential elections in November. Following that, a constituent assembly would be elected in March 2012, a new constitution adopted in 2012 and a full democratic state by early 2013. Opponents said that these changes didn’t go far enough and wanted to elect a constituent assembly to scrap this one entirely as soon as possible which would lead to a democratic state by early 2012.
The supporters of this constitution included the old NDP and the Muslim Brotherhood, who would benefit from holding quick elections thanks to their grassroots network and strong organization which can afford quick elections. The Muslim Brotherhood claims that it won’t run a presidential candidate (the NDP will) but probably seek to gain its political foothold and influence from a strong parliamentary caucus. Opponents included the youth movement which led the revolution, Arab League boss Amr Mousa, Mohamed El Baradei and most of the revolutionary movements.
Turnout was 41%
Welcoming the first election map of Egypt… in, well, first time ever? Surprisingly, pulling out an analysis of the map wasn’t that hard. Support was lowest in Cairo, where 59.9% voted in favour. It isn’t a stretch to assume, obviously, that Cairo is the centre of the more or less secular and “liberal” opposition revolutionaries. The Red Sea Governorate, which includes the resort town of Hurghada, saw 62% support. South Sinai, which includes the resort town of Sharm-el-Sheikh voted 66% in favour while Alexandria was 67% in favour. Giza and Minya saw support below 70% – Minya has a large Coptic population. Support in Port Said, Helwan, Aysut, Gharbia and Ismailia had support below average as well. Aysut has the largest Coptic population, Helwan and Gharbia seem to be small industrial towns which have universities. Port Said and Ismailia are major cities. Support was highest in remote and sparsely populated, breaking 90% in the two Libyan Desert governorates and being generally above average in other predominantly rural areas.