19 Jan 2014

Egypt constitution referendum backed by 98%

11:13 am on 19 January 2014

The electoral authorities in Egypt have released the official figures for the turnout in the constitution referendum held last week.

The BBC's reports the proposed constitution has been backed by 98.1% of people who voted in a referendum.

The turnout was 38.6% of the 53 million eligible voters, the election committee said.

The draft constitution replaces one introduced by Islamist President Mohammed Morsi before he was ousted.

The referendum is being seen as a vote on the legitimacy of his removal and of the army, which toppled him in July last year.

The vote, which took place on Tuesday and Wednesday but was boycotted by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist movement from which Mr Morsi comes and which wants to see him returned to office.

Several people died in violence involving Mr Morsi's supporters on the first day of voting.

There were further clashes with the security forces on Friday in which four people died, officials said.