Egypt, Syria and Libya went to the polls on Wednesday (1 Sept.) to vote for the tripartite federation planned as the new force in the Arab world.
Egypt, Syria and Libya went to the polls on Wednesday (1 Sept.) to vote for the tripartite federation planned as the new force in the Arab world. The millions of voters were expected to five a clear cut "ye " to the proposed federation, a forecast born out by the results broadcast on Thursday (2 Sept.), when it was announced that approximately fourteen million voters throughout the three countries were almost unanimous in their support.
This new federation, which links countries with a combined population of forty three million, is the first serious attempt at some form of Arab unity since the failure of the United Arab Republic of Egypt and Syria, formed in 1958 but dissolved in 1961.
Referendum figures showed that voters approved the federation by more than 99 per cent in Egypt, over 96 per cent in Syria, and more than 98 per cent in Libya.
In Cairo, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat cast his own vote on Wednesday, at the same time as almost eight million of his countrymen went to the polls. In their own Embassies, the Syrian and Libyan Ambassadors also voted for the federation, which Arab leaders are now referring to as a "bullwark" against Israel.
On Thursday, following the results of the massive poll, Cairo Radio announced that the country would revert to its ancient title of Egypt, thus dropping the term "United Arab Republic" which it had adopted for the earlier union with Syria.
SYNOPSIS: Eight million Egyptian voters went to the polls on Wednesday and declared their unanimous support for the proposed tripartite federation to be set up between Egypt, Libya and Syria. At the same time, Syrians and Libyans were voting their support for this new attempt at Arab unit. Altogether, some fourteen millions took part in the referendum.
President Anwar Sadat of Egypt travelled to his home village in the Nile Delta to cast his own vote for the federation. A federation between Egypt, Libya and Syria he said, was the best way of fighting Israel. Once the totally successful result of the referendum were known, it was announced that Egypt is discarding the term "United Arab Republic." Instead, the country is to become the "Arab Republic of Egypt." The term UAR had been in use since the earlier union between Egypt and Syria, which ended in failure in 1961.
In Cairo, the Libyan Ambassador cast his vote. In Libya itself, the Libyans voted overwhelmingly in favour of the federation. Official sources say that more than 98 per cent of the voters favoured the historic link up. The federation brings together three states with a combined population of about 43 million, and is the first serious attempt at Arab unity since the failure of the Egypt and Syria union.
The Syrian Ambassador also placed his vote. In Syria, it was reported that the Syrians turned out in such strength that the polling hours were extended. 96 per cent of voters were in favour, with only three per cent voting against the federation.