Egypt's Shura Council moves forward with army's right to vote

Ahram Online, Tuesday 11 Jun 2013

Shura Council committee approves reservations of High Constitutional Court on draft political rights law

Shura Council
Egyptian men pass by the Shura Council, in Cairo, Egypt (Photo: AP)

The legislative committee of the Shura Council, the upper house of parliament which currently holds legislative powers, approved on Tuesday the reservations of the High Constitutional Court (HCC) on a draft law regulating political rights.

The court had found several of the articles of the law unconstitutional, including a provision that members of the police and the armed forces are not given the right to vote.

The court also objected to the fact that the Supreme Electoral Commission, the body tasked with supervising elections, is not given the right to monitor the use of private media in election campaigning.   

The legislative and constitutional affairs committee of the Shura Council had agreed last week to grant Egyptian military and police personnel the right to vote in elections by July 2020.

Deputy defence minister for Legal Affairs Major Mamdouh Shahin had asked committee members to postpone including army and police personnel in upcoming election voter lists, raising doubts about whether the state could manage the upcoming parliamentary elections without the security services of the army, if army personnel were eligible to vote.

Poll stations are typically secured by the military during elections.

Shahin also submitted an amendment to the Shura Council which proposes exempting army and police personnel from automatic updates of voter registries. The amendment would establish a different system for adding their information to voting lists – to be agreed upon by the armed forces and police authorities – which takes into account the information's confidential nature.

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