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Doubt cast over judicial oversight

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Questions about the number and authority of judges go unanswered by electoral body

Judges Conference. File Photo/AFP

Members of National Salvation Front parties met with the Supreme Electoral Commission to voice their doubts over the validity of judicial oversight at Saturday’s referendum polling stations.

State Authority Judges are one of the only groups willing to participate in Saturday’s vote and they say they are 6,700 strong.

However, Ahmed Al-Hawary, a coordinating member of Al-Dostour Party puts their numbers closer to 3,500 and says they are not actually judges but rather lawyers with a level of judicial power that can be applied in the case of elections.

Al-Hawary said this is the result of a 2006 lawsuit that stated the General Prosecution can oversee the referendum and elections, giving these State Authority Judges their power.

“It is illegal for anyone but judges to observe the election,” confirmed lawyer Mohamed Fadel. “A lot of judges have withdrawn who participated in the first phase of voting. The final number is not set yet for the second stage and anyone in the election who sees someone beside a judge supervising should report it.”

In an effort to clarify this grey area, those in the meeting with the SEC asked for a list that outlines every participating judge’s name, which judicial entity they come from, and where they will be supervising during the vote.

Al-Hawary and an exasperated NSF spokesperson, Khaled Dawoud, said that this list had not yet materialised, but they are still waiting.

“This alone shows that the referendum is unlawful,” concluded Al-Hawary.




  • Dr. Reda Sobky

    Is that what this document is down to, most don’t want to participate in order not add validity to it and others just feel it is not an adoption that will withstand legal scrutiny and then we go into a new level of conflict which others use to say that we can only be ruled and we can’t govern ourselves because we are a fragmented society with too many outliers and partisans to succeed. Election or voting does not mean democracy or civilized discourse. Election can be a way to oppress people by setting an erroneous question or document and forcing people to vote for it. Many don’t bother and others oppose but somehow you get your 51% and then you proceed to shove it down people’s throats as a legitimate constitution situation. What a parody of assembling the manisfestations of the occurrence in order to look like democracy is happening, instead you get a sham and many return to cynicism and a double life like we had with Nasser….you say something publicly but inside you know it is false, the whole Itihad Ishtraky was a sham, the Hizb el Watany was a sham and now this sham democracy and sham voting is there no end to it, can’t we actually have the real thing like other people and get our system to function so we can have a competitive economy and employ these kids and give them a chance at a future.

  • Mrmr

    Dr Reda,

    How do you achieve that with the level of corruption we have? The Egyptian people recognize how bad everything is but they don’t actually DO anything about it.

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