The Egyptian authorities hoped that the constitutional referendum would draw a line under the question of the legitimacy of the 3 July regime, and they are showing all the signs of believing that the 98 percent “Yes” vote means they have achieved that. Less than 40 percent of eligible voters actually voted, but then again only around 41 percent voted in the first constitutional amendment vote in March 2011, and even fewer voted for the constitution that was pushed through under the watch of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.
At the same time, police, aided by the protest law, have managed to restore order to the streets and restore a basic level of security reminiscent of the Mubarak days. Defence Minister General Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi's argument that the country just wants to get back on its feet has certainly struck a chord with a large number of Egyptians, if not most, even if they don't like the military's intervention in public life. So far so good.