Egyptians are currently voting on a new constitution, following a military coup last summer. The vote comes in the midst of violence between supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of the Egyptian military. Violence on the first day of voting left 11 people dead.
The current draft constitution being put to a vote, per Reuters "deletes Islamic language written into the basic law approved a year ago when [deposed President Mohammed Morsi] was still in office. It also strengthens state bodies that defied him: the army, the police and the judiciary." Approval of the draft would pave the way for General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the Commander-in-Chief of Egypt's armed forces, to make a run for the presidency.
Banners supporting the constitution—and by connection, al-Sisi—hang all throughout Cairo, but opposition to the measure is not afford such luxuries as freedom of speech:
At least seven members of Strong Egypt, a moderate Islamist party, have been arrested for trying to hang posters against the charter, moving the party to boycott the vote rather than face more arrests. Two more women were arrested Tuesday for trying to put up opposition signs, state media reported.
According to interviews conducted by Time, most Egyptians are not worried about voting for a constitution that bolsters the military's authority, and the draft is expected to be approved in a landslide. Part of that willingness to vote for the draft stems from a weariness caused by the upheaval of the past three years, where constant shifting of powers has severely damaged the Egyptian economy and left thousands dead.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.