Egypt’s referendum on a controversial draft constitution will now take place on two separate dates, Egyptian state television said on Wednesday. The electoral commission announced that the vote, initially set only for December 15, will take place both on Saturday and a week later on December 22, Nile TV said. The respective rounds of the referendum will be divided into two regions, it said. The TV report came as Egypt’s official news agency said embassies around the world opened their doors to expatriate voters.
The vote shows the determination of President Mohammed Morsi to go forward with the process despite fierce opposition from liberals, secularists, Christians and others.
The Middle East News Agency said that nearly a half million Egyptian expatriates have up until Saturday to cast ballots in 150 diplomatic mission.
A boycott by the powerful judges’ union has led to a shortage of judges to supervise the vote.