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Mohamed Morsi's controversial constitution went to a public referendum on Saturday, and despite being up against a very large, vocal opposition, it appears the bill will survive.

The early results say the Islamist authored constitution passed the first of a two-stage referendum with roughly 56 percent of the vote. The second stage comes next week, but it's expected the bill will survive that easily. The regions in Egypt that have yet to vote are filled with Islamist supporters. Voter turn out was good, if not great. About 32 percent of potential voters came out for this round of the referendum. 

But the vote was not without controversy. Opposition groups had a laundry list of complaints and alleged right violations: 

 

During the vote, rights groups reported abuses like polling stations opening late, officials telling people how to vote and bribery. They also criticized widespread religious campaigning which portrayed "no" voters as heretics.

 

That was about how we suspected this would go. A few opposition groups released a statement asking the government, "to avoid these mistakes in the second stage of the referendum and to restage the first phase again". Over the last few weeks, protestors have marched on Tahrir Square and the President's palace overt the rushed constitution and Morsi's initial decision to give himself power over the courts until a referendum passed and a new parliament was formed. 

 

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