Egypt envoy to Canada calls for conciliation amid violent constitutional divide

The Canadian Press

OTTAWA - Egypt's ambassador to Canada is issuing a plea for reconciliation to help his polarized country move beyond its worst political crisis since its president was deposed nearly two years ago.

Envoy Wael Aboulmadg called for compromise after the vast majority of Egyptian Canadians voted this past week to reject their new constitution, one that liberals and minority Christians say has an Islamist bent.

He appealed to liberals and conservatives among the Canadian-Egyptian population to help dial down the explosive rhetoric.

The final round of voting on Egypt's proposed new constitution resumes Saturday after three-quarters of the nearly 1,800 Egyptian Canadians who cast their ballots last weekend in the first round voted to reject it.

Earlier this month, 100,000 protesters marched on the palace of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi, calling for the cancellation of the referendum and demanding that a new constitution be written.

Aboulmadg defends the draft constitution as an improvement, but says his country could benefit from a more clearly worded document.