Forty-five-year-old Egyptian Mahmoud Zaki, along with many of his friends, on Saturday (January 18th) awaited with great anticipation the announcement by the High Elections Commission (HEC) of the results of the constitutional referendum.
Though Zaki and his friends hold different political views, "we all agree that the vote on the new constitution is an important step towards the country's stability ", he told Al-Shorfa.
Nearly 39% of 53 million eligible Egyptians voters voted in the referendum, with around 98% of these -- about 20 million people -- voting "yes" to ratify the constitution, the HEC said.
Ali Awad, constitutional advisor to interim president Adly Mansour, said the constitution went into effect as soon as the outcome of the vote was announced.
After "the constitution was approved, its provisions went into effect and will be enforced", he said in a statement. "This requires state institutions and private and public bodies and citizens to abide by these provisions."
After meeting with political, social and revolutionary forces, the institution of the presidency is currently considering which elections should be held first, the presidential or the parliamentary elections, Awad said.
Interim president Mansour in a speech late on Sunday called on political parties to promote effective and concrete platforms that develop Egyptian political awareness.
Survival and success in Egypt will be for the fittest and those who meet the aspirations of the Egyptian people, he said.
Egypt is now at a crucial and decisive phase, said Imad Hijab, human rights activist and co-ordinator with "Observers Without Borders" elections monitoring network.
"This was the most difficult referendum on the constitution Egypt has held yet, due to the difficulty of the political climate and magnitude of the challenges and risks the people are facing as a result of acts of violence and terrorism, as well as economic instability," he said.
Voting and counting in the referendum was conducted per HEC standards; no administrative, legislative or security force interfered in the process; and violations and abuses that were observed did not affect the voting process or the outcome, Hijab said.
"An expeditious implementation of the roadmap is a priority at this time, so the political situation can stabilise and the government can regain its strength and achieve the goals of the January 25th Revolution of 'Bread, Freedom and Social Justice'," said al-Tagammu Party spokesman Nabil Zaki.
"The turnout for the referendum by ordinary citizens, especially women, proved that Egyptians possess high political awareness and insist on democratic methods as the only means by which to achieve their goal," he told Al-Shorfa.
Egyptians rejected chaos and terror by turning out to vote on the constitution, Nader Bakkar, official spokesman for the Salafi al-Nour Party, told Al-Shorfa.
"Only a political process that brings all the parties together is capable of foiling attempts to spread chaos, destroy the state and society, and divide the country," he said.
Al-Nour Party is currently seeking to co-operate with all political forces so as not to waste the opportunity for convergence that came with the referendum, he said.
This would help prepare for the upcoming elections, which al-Nour Party hopes "is held within the framework of honest and fair competition that aims to build the country," Bakkar added.
"All policies that should be adopted by the government and political parties, starting with the new constitution, must come in the framework of removing tensions, healing rifts, reuniting the Egyptian people and addressing mistakes committed in the previous period," Al-Nour Party said in a statement.
"The path of violence, of raising takfiri slogans, distrust and of being agents [of foreign powers] is not the way to build a nation," Bakkar said. "Everyone has to respect the will of the Egyptian people, reconsider their calculations and positions, and start a new phase of co-operation to build."