Amendments passed at 75.9% "yes" votes, 27.1 participation

Surprise, surprise: the amendments passed, officials say.
CAIRO, March 27 (Xinhua) -- Egyptian Justice Minister Mamdouh Mohieddin Marai announced on Tuesday that 75.9 percent of voters in Monday's national referendum said yes to constitutional amendments, the official news agency MENA reported.

Marai said the turnout reached 27.1 percent, which meant that some 9.6 million of Egypt's 35.4 million eligible Egyptian voters went out and made a vote on Monday's public referendum.
The opposition and monitoring NGOs are skeptical, saying it couldn't have been more than 10% of voters at most.

Low turnout for Egypt referendum: al-Jazeera

Anas al-Fiqi, Egypt's information minister, said turnout on Monday stood between 23 and 27 per cent, according to early estimates.

The independent Committee for Democracy Support, which deployed 300 observers, said overall turnout was no more than three per cent by 5pm (15:00 GMT).
More stories are coming out on this, casting doubt on participation and highlighting apathy -- AP, LA Times, WaPo.

In other news, a friend was given a voting ballot by a taxi driver last night. The driver was furious that he had gotten it as payment for a half-hour cab ride -- presumably with a NDP or election official actually the friend just confirmed that it was given by a police officer. In a voting station near the Pyramids, another friend reported that NDP activists were only letting in people who said they would vote "yes" -- just some of the many usual stories of electoral fraud we've come across yesterday.
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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.