Electoral Commission aims to restrict voters to home constituencies

Ahram Online, Monday 10 Dec 2012

Egypt's judicial body wants the law to be changed so referendum votes cannot be cast in any location

Photo file: An elderly Egyptian man casts his vote in a ballot box at a polling station during the runoff of the parliamentary elections in Cairo, Egypt Sunday, Dec. 5, 2010. (Photo: AP)

Egypt's Supreme Electoral Commission is demanding the cancellation of legislation stipulating voters can cast ballots outside their respective constituencies in public referendums, ahead of Saturday's polling on the draft constitution.

Ahmed Roshdi, a Ministry of Justice spokesman, says that the request by the committee, which is formed of senior judges, was made to ensure transparency of the referendum on the draft constitution without violations.

The second section of the second article of Law 32 of 1956 on practicing political rights allows voters to cast their ballots in any constituency during a public referendum. The Commission has called on the cabinet to annul this section of the law.

President Mohamed Morsi is solely entitled to ratify or cancel legislation, after the People's Assembly – the lower house of the parliament that holds legislative authorities – was dismantled earlier this year upon a court order declaring last winter's parliamentary elections unconstitutional.

Voters in Egypt's last public referendum on the then ruling military council's constitutional declaration in March 2011 were able to cast ballots in any constituency.

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