CAIRO—Egyptians endorsed a controversial Islamist-backed constitution after the first day of voting but without the support of the capital, according to initial results, raising new doubts that it could bring stability to an increasingly polarized Egypt.
According to newspaper tallies of the votes, 56 per cent of Egyptians in the 10 governorates who voted Saturday endorsed the constitution. But in Cairo, 57 per cent rejected it. The vote continues Dec. 22, when the remaining 17 governorates are scheduled to vote.
The vote appeared to be as much a referendum on Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, the party through which Morsi ascended to the presidency, as the constitution itself.
Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood heralded the new document as the pathway to stability. But the opposition groups — Christians, secularists, liberals and moderates — called it divisive and unrepresentative.