CAIRO — Thousands of Egyptian protesters marched on the presidential palace and Cairo’s downtown Tahrir Square on Tuesday to protest a contentious Islamist-backed draft constitution, after the country’s Justice Ministry ordered a probe into allegations of widespread voting irregularities during Saturday’s first round of voting on the document.
Since the country’s political crisis erupted more than three weeks ago, the opposition has kept the pressure on the government of President Mohammed Morsi with mass marches that at times have seen turnouts of hundreds of thousands. Morsi’s Islamist supporters have countered with rallies of their own.
Chanting “down with Brotherhood rule,” and “your constitution is void,” the opposition made its first major street push since Saturday’s round of voting on the constitution. Preliminary results showed that 56 percent of voted cast “yes.” The second round of voting is set for Saturday. The opposition fears that large Islamist constituencies in rural and upper Egypt will increase the votes in favor.
Turnout was also low in Egypt’s 150 diplomatic missions, which opened their doors for a half million Egyptian expatriates to vote. Preliminary results showed stark difference between Egyptians in Arab Gulf countries and elsewhere. In Washington D.C., more than 70 percent of voters said “no,” while in Saudi city of Jeddah, more than 80 percent voted “yes.”