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Resignation of the Vice-President of Egypt amid political crisis!

Vice President

– Egypt’s vice-president resigned on Saturday as Egyptians voted in a referendum that is expected to approve a new constitution that lays the foundations for the country’s transition to democracy but will strip him of his role.

Authorities extended voting by four hours in the second and decisive round of the plebiscite on an Islamist-drafted constitution that the opposition has criticized as divisive and likely to cause more unrest.

Just hours before polls closed, Vice President Mahmoud Mekky announced his resignation, saying he wanted to quit last month but stayed on to help President Mohamed Mursi tackle a crisis that blew up when the Islamist leader assumed wide powers.

Mekky, a prominent judge who said he was uncomfortable in politics, disclosed earlier he had not been informed of Mursi’s power grab. However, the timing of Mekky’s move appeared linked to the fact there is no vice-presidential post under the draft constitution.

In a resignation letter, Mekky said that although he had held on in the post he had “realized for some time that the nature of political work did not suit my professional background as a judge”.

Islamist supporters of Mursi say the charter is vital to move towards democracy, nearly two years after an Arab Spring revolt overthrew authoritarian ruler Hosni Mubarak. It will help restore stability needed to fix a struggling economy, they say…

–Polling stations opened in Egypt in the second and final round of a referendum on a new constitution that was drafted by an assembly dominated by Islamists and that the opposition says is polarising the nation.

After a first round vote last week, polls opened on Saturday in areas analysts expected would give another “yes” vote.

The vote is taking place in 17 of Egypt’s 27 provinces with about 25 million eligible voters.

The vote comes a day after clashes between supporters and opponents of President Mohammed Morsi in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria.

The violence, which hurt several dozen people, is the latest episode in more than four weeks of turmoil over the president’s powers and the constitution.

The proposed new constitution has deeply divided Egypt, with supporters of Egypt’s elected president backing the new documents, and mainly liberal opponents decrying it as too partisan….

Source: Agencies

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