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Sunday, 16 May 2021

Egypt’s NEA to refer eligible voters who didn't cast ballots in Senate elections to prosecution

According to official statistics, 53,99 million eligible voters did not cast their ballots in the first round of Senate elections

Ahram Onine, Wednesday 26 Aug 2020
Egyptians, mask-clad due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, cast their ballots at a pool station on August 11, 2020 for a new senate in an upper house election. AFP
The Board of Directors of the National Elections Authority (NEA) decided on Wednesday to refer all voters who had failed to vote in the first round of the Senate elections to the prosecution, a statement by the NEA said.
The statement said that during a meeting on Wednesday the NEA’s Board of Directors, headed by Lashin Ibrahim, discussed mechanisms for applying the provisions of the Law on Exercising Political Rights on voters who didn't cast their ballot in the 2020 Senate elections.
The board agreed to prepare lists of the names of people who failed to vote, the statement noted.
According to official statistics, 53,99 million eligible voters did not cast their ballots in the first round of Senate elections held from 9 to 12 August to choose their representatives in the newly-reconstituted 300-seat chamber.
On 19 August, Ibrahim said while announcing the results during a press conference that 8,95 million out of 62,94 million eligible voters cast their ballots during the four-day long voting period -- a total turnout of 14.23 percent.
Senators from 174 constituencies countrywide have been officially named after receiving the absolute majority of votes during the first round of elections, while 26 seats are still up for grabs in a run-off in September, Ibrahim said.
The run-off election of the new chamber, whose members are chosen via the individual candidacy, the closed party list system, and presidential appointment, will be held on 6-7 September for Egyptians abroad and on 8-9 September for resident nationals.
The final result is set to be announced on 16 September.
In Wednesday’s statement, the NEA’s board stressed that all the necessary capabilities and equipment have been provided for the citizens to cast their ballots and exercise their political right in addition to taking all precautionary measures to “protect the voters and the parties involved in the electoral process from the coronavirus pandemic.”
The statement added that though the NEA has repeatedly urged eligible voters to cast their ballots, some failed to do so.
This, the statement said, led to the board’s conclusion to refer all those who failed to vote to the prosecution in line with the provisions of Article 57 of Law 45/2014 on Exercising
Political Rights and its amendments that punish the voter who fails to cast his vote with a fine not exceeding EGP 500.
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