20 Mar 2011

Large turnout reported in Egypt referendum

2:23 pm on 20 March 2011

Voters in Egypt have flocked to the polls for a referendum on constitutional reforms.

The vote is the first practical result of the uprising which swept President Hosni Mubarak from power last month, the BBC reports.

Presidential candidate Mohamed ElBaradei was attacked by a crowd of mainly young men who threw stones and shoes at the former UN nuclear watchdog chief as he went to vote.

If the constitutional changes are approved they would pave the way for Egypt to hold new presidential and parliamentary elections within six months.

Key proposals include reducing presidential terms from six years to four and limiting the president to two terms.

The two established political blocs, the National Democratic Party and Muslim Brotherhood, are said to back the proposals, but pro-democracy activists say the changes do not go far enough and want the plan rejected.