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Administrative court refers referendum cases to commissioners

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50 lawyers filed cases calling for the cancellation of referendum result

Lawyers argue that the referendum was invalid since the draft constitution was neither printed on the ballot nor published in the state Official Gazette. (DNE/ Mohamed Omar)

Lawyers argue that the referendum was invalid since the draft constitution was neither printed on the ballot nor published in the state Official Gazette. (DNE/ Mohamed Omar)

The Administrative Judiciary Court referred Tuesday all cases calling for the cancellation of the constitutional referendum to the State Commissioners’ Authority, effectively postponing them until further notice.

Several lawyers had filed 50 cases against the referendum, most notably former presidential candidate and head of the Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights, Khaled Ali.

Ali filed cases arguing that the referendum was invalid since the draft constitution was neither printed on the ballot nor published in the state Official Gazette meaning that, legally, voters did not know what they were voting on and that constitutional articles could be changed.

He requested the court make a verdict before 7pm which is when the results of the referendum will be announced because if the result is announced before a verdict is made then the case will be rendered void.

Lawyers Ehab Atef and Alaa El-Din Al-Saeed filed cases arguing against the referendum taking place over two stages, which they said violated the March 2011 constitutional decree and law 46 of 2011 which states that referendums are to happen over a period of one day and that results must be announced no more than three days later.

The plaintiffs requested the court set a date for a verdict session, while Muslim Brotherhood lawyer Mohamed Abu El-Anein requested the court postpone the case so he can properly read the documents.

Abu El-Anein, who is also a member of legal committee of the Brotherhood’s political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party, said the court should not accept this case because “the majority made its voice heard in the referendum” and that results would be announced in hours.

He added that the constitution would lead the country to stability and security and as such the march of democracy should not be interrupted.

The State Commissioners’ Authority will now write a detailed report with its recommendation and send it back to the court for a ruling. The commissioners are not assigned a deadline and can take as much time as needed to form a report.

About the author

Ahmed Aboul Enein

News Reporter

Ahmed Aboul Enein is an Egyptian journalist who hates writing about himself in the third person. Follow him on Twitter @aaboulenein


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