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Egypt's Defense Minister Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, center, is shown on Sept. 20, 2013. Gen. el-Sissi is linking a potential presidential run to the results of this week’s constitutional referendum.
Egypt's Defense Minister Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, center, is shown on Sept. 20, 2013. Gen. el-Sissi is linking a potential presidential run to the results of this week’s constitutional referendum.
(Hassan Ammar/AP)

Egypt’s vote shows that boycott was a bad idea

Amidst a polarized atmosphere, Egyptians over the past two days went to the polls on a referendum on a new constitution, a key step in a roadmap planned by the military-backed government following the toppling of former president Mohammed Morsi. Despite the ongoing violence and a boycott campaign by the Muslim Brotherhood’s-backed anti-coup coalition, the referendum is expected to pass with a landslide victory. The overall turnout is still unclear, but it is expected to be higher than the 2012 referendum (32.9 per cent). This turn of events should not be unexpected as Egypt is in a state of imbalance following a painful three years of instability and a collapse of law and order. A mixture of grave political mistakes committed by the Muslim Brotherhood, and a charismatic army leader has made the results of this referendum inevitable.