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Top referendum supervisor might be unfit for 2nd round after surgery

Judge Zaghloul El-Balshi, in charge of supervising Egypt's constitution referendum, undergoes eye surgery that could prevent him from overseeing the second phase on Saturday

Ahram Online, Tuesday 18 Dec 2012
Zaghloul
The general secretary of the committee Zaghloul El-Balshi
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Egypt's Supreme Electoral Commission (SEC) Secretary-General Zaghloul El-Balshi has undergone minor eye surgery Tuesday evening that could prevent him from overseeing Saturday's second round of the constitutional referendum.

A judicial source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Al-Ahram's Arabic-language news website the doctor who had conducted the surgery would determine on Wednesday whether El-Balshi can resume his task of supervising the national referendum.

"I think he will be able to carry out his work because the surgery is minor," the source added.

However, El-Balshi's cousin said his relative would need at least 10 days to get back to work.

"Any talks about him resuming his work are false. He will return home after leaving the hospital tomorrow," journalist Khaled El-Balshi said.

Earlier on Tuesday, reports said El-Balshi had tendered his resignation for health reasons, which were denied by an assistant to the Minister of Justice.

The first phase of Egypt's referendum took place on 15 December across 10 governorates. Unofficial final results of the first round show a 56.5 per cent approval for the draft charter, while 'No' votes reached 43.5 per cent.

The second phase of voting includes the remaining 17 governorates.

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