arab spring
January 15, 2014

Egypt Votes


Maggie: It has been three years since major protests began sweeping through the Arab world, toppling governments and launching violent clashes. Starting over hasn’t been easy. Yet many hope this week’s vote in the country of Egypt will start a new chapter there. But as Tom Hanson reports, Egypt, like much of the region, is still on shaky ground.

Tom: Thousands of Egyptians lined up Tuesday to cast their vote, hoping to shape a new constitution for their government. This is the third time Egyptians have voted on the constitution in the past three years. Each time has brought more protests and more clashes as Egypt struggles to build a democracy. And this time was no different.

This is the aftermath of a bomb explosion at a polling station. Over two days, Egyptians are voting to decide whether or not to ban religious parties, give more power to the military and increase women’s rights.

Egypt has been in chaos since the Arab Spring, a wave of protests that hit the Arab world in 2010. Ever since then, longtime leaders in the countries of Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Yemen have all been kicked out of power. First, from President Hosni Mubarak who ran the country from 1981 to 2011, he was overthrown during the Arab Spring, and then Mohamed Morsi, the leader of a conservative political party called the Muslim Brotherhood, who became president. But this past July, he was accused of making a power grab, which caused widespread protests. And, in the end, the Egyptian military took over and now stands as the governing body today.

The country is deeply divided between supporters of the military, the Muslim Brotherhood, which is encouraging its supporters not to vote, and the people who don’t like either side and want a total fresh start.

If a draft of the constitution is passed, the next step would be to hold elections and try to form, yet again, a new government.

Tom Hanson, Channel One News.

Maggie: Experts say it might take days, if not weeks, for the results of the vote to be known.


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