Egypt endorses Mursi constitution amid low voter turnout

Egyptian voters approved a constitution drafted by President Mohamed Mursi's allies by a majority of 63.8 per cent, results announced on Tuesday showed, proving that liberals, leftists and Christians have been powerless to halt the march of Islamists in power.

Final figures released by Egypt's electoral commission showed the constitution adopted with 63.8 per cent of the vote in the referendum held over two days this month, giving Mursi's Islamists their third straight electoral victory since veteran autocrat Hosni Mubarak was toppled in a 2011 revolution. Turnout, however, was barely 33 per cent.

"There is no loser in this referendum result. This constitution will be for all of us," Prime Minister Hisham Qandil said in a statement. He called on "all political forces to cooperate with the government" to restore the economy.

The main opposition coalition has already dismissed the plebiscite as "only one battle" and vowed to "continue the fight for the Egyptian people".

That sets the scene for continued instability after more than a month of protests, including clashes on 5 December that killed eight people and injured hundreds.

Washington called on Morsi to work to "bridge divisions".