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Early Egypt Vote Count Suggests Charter Overwhelmingly Approved

An Egyptian man takes part in the two days of referendum voting on the new constitutional draft in Cairo on January 14.
Egyptian officials say initial results from a two-day referendum on a draft constitution suggest that the charter has been overwhelmingly approved.

Egyptian election officials said early on January 16 that turnout was more than 55 percent of eligible voters and that the count so far suggested more than 90 percent of those who cast a ballot approved the document.

The banned Muslim Brotherhood had called for a boycott of the referendum, leading to wide expectations that the charter would be approved and putting media focus on turnout figures.

The military-backed government says the referendum is aimed at restoring democracy after the army's ouster of Islamist President Muhammad Morsi.

If voter approval is confirmed by the final results, the new constitution -- which was drafted by a mostly secular commission -- will replace the one adopted in 2012 under Morsi.

Based on reporting by Reuters, dpa, and AP