SCAF amends Egypt political participation law, cancels controversial Article 5

Ahram Online, Sunday 9 Oct 2011

Ruling army council bows to pressure from political parties and cancels Article 5 of new election law that stipulated one third of parliament be filled by independents

Sami Anan
Chief of Staff, Sami Anan, and other military council members recently met with ‎parties’ heads to discuss the amendments

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) has amended eight articles of the ‎political participation law while two more have been added. ‎

Article 5, which stipulated that two thirds of parliament would be elected through an ‎electoral list system and one third filled by individuals, has been ‎cancelled.

The anticipated parliamentary elections start in late November.‎

Below are the amended articles of the law:‎

Article 1: Articles 40, 43, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, and 50 of the political participation law will be ‎replaced by the following:‎

Article 40: Those who refuse to vote despite being registered on the ‎database of voters will be fined up to LE500.‎

Article 49: The following infringements will result in prison time:‎

- Participation in elections or polls while having no right to do so.‎

- Impersonating another voter.

‎- Voting more than once in polls or elections. In this case, the Supreme Electoral ‎Committee head has the right to declare the vote void.‎

Article 50: Stealing or damaging ballot boxes, or ruining their content, will result in jail ‎time. ‎

Article 2: Articles 50 (continued) and 50 (A) (continued) are added to the political participation law.

Article 50 (continued): Electoral campaigns based on religious slogans or sex or ‎ethnic discrimination are banned, and whoever embarks on one will face at least three-‎months jail time and a LE500 to LE10,000 fine.‎

Article 50 (A) (continued): The general prosecution handles the crimes mentioned thereto ‎and is entitled to detain the defendants pending investigations.‎

Article 3: Any verdict that goes against these regulations will be revoked.‎

Article 4: This statement will be published in official papers and will be effective the day after its publication.‎

Article 43: Verbal or gestural insults against the head or members of an electoral ‎committee while working will result in prison sentences. ‎

Article 45: Damaging facilities, buildings or media equipments during elections will ‎result in prison sentences.‎

Article 46: Deliberately hiding or damaging a database or voters’ election cards will ‎result in prison sentences.‎

Article 47: Registering names on the voters’ database through illegal means will result in ‎prison sentences.‎

Article 48: The following crimes will result in prison sentences ranging from one to five years and fines of LE10,000 to LE100,000:

‎1-‎ The use of force or threats to prevent someone from expressing an opinion in elections ‎or polls, or to make a voter express a certain opinion. ‎

2-‎ Trying to persuade voters not to vote or to vote for a certain candidate or choice ‎in return for something. The electoral committee head has the right to cancel ‎such votes. ‎

3-‎ Accepting being involved in the aforementioned crimes.‎

4-‎ Spreading rumours about elections, polls, or candidates with the intention to ‎affect results. ‎

5-‎ Forgery of electoral cards or distributing them without official approval.‎ 

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