CAIRO: Voting resumed across Egypt on Wednesday in a referendum on a new constitution, with the turnout expected to hold the key to army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s likely presidential bid.
Polls opened on the second and final day of the vote at 7 a.m. local time.
The constitution is expected to be approved despite a boycott by Islamist supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi.
The new constitution replaces the one drafted under Morsi, which was passed with a 64 percent of the vote, but on a turnout of barely 33 percent of the country’s 53 million voters.
Polling went off smoothly at most stations on Tuesday, but according to latest reports nine people were killed in clashes outside Cairo between Morsi supporters and police and anti-Morsi groups.
Around 250 people were also arrested including some Brotherhood members for disrupting the polling in some areas.
Tuesday’s violence highlighted the government’s precarious grip on the most populous Arab nation, still reeling from Morsi’s ouster and a crackdown on his supporters.
More than 1,000 people have been killed in clashes since Morsi’s ouster, and thousands have been arrested including the top leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood to which the ousted leader belongs.