Egyptians voted on Saturday in a referendum on an Islamist-backed draft constitution, even as they doubted that the results would end three weeks of violence, division and distrust between the Islamists and their opponents over the ground rules of Egypt’s promised democracy.
By midmorning Saturday, long lines had formed outside polling stations around the capital and the country. Military officers were on hand to ensure security. Despite a new outbreak of fighting over the charter in Alexandria and opposition warnings of chaos, by late afternoon the streets were free of protests for the time in weeks. Many expressed their confidence in the integrity of the vote, but continued to criticize the process that produced the charter.