Tense times as Egypt votes on a new constitution

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Egyptians have begun voting in a two-day referendum on a new constitution.

The vote is to replace the charter brought in by ousted President Mohammed Mursi.

The importance of the vote is not lost on the people of Cairo after years of instability and violence:

“Yes to the new constitution and may God bring calm to the nation. Many people have been lost, and may God bring us victory,” said one Cairean.

“I am unhappy about the alienation I see in people. I feel like we are being coerced into saying yes. It is always on the TV, saying vote ‘yes’ to the constitution. No, vote according to how you feel,” retorted another.

A huge security operation is underway across the country with 200,000 police officers and hundreds of special units deployed at polling stations.

The Muslim Brotherhood, now classified as a terrorist group, has called on supporters to boycott the vote.

Many fear an outbreak of violence as Mursi supporters vent their anger at his removal from power last July.

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