Egypt Votes On Controversial Constitution

December 15, 2012

Voting on a draft constitution starts today in Egypt.

President Muhammad Morsi and his Islamic backers say the document will push the nation closer to democracy nearly two years after the fall of Hosni Mubarak.

Critics, including liberals, secularists, and Christians, say the document is too Islamist and damages minority rights.

The constitution and a Morsi decree -- now rescinded -- to grant himself powers above the law have sparked weeks of protests.

In Alexandria on December 14, supporters and opponents of Morsi clashed with clubs, knives and swords.

In Cairo, both camps made final appeals to rally supporters.

Opposition supporters rallied outside the Presidential Palace, which is still ringed by police and tanks after street clashes earlier this month there left at least eight dead. Voting will take place today and December 22 with results to follow.

Based on AP and Reuters reporting