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Misr Al-Qawia challenges Mansour’s amendment to political participation law

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Law amended a week ahead of vote on new constitution

Misr Al-Qawia Party’s lawsuit to strike an amendment made by interim President Adly Mansour to the law on the right to political participation was reviewed before the Administrative Court on Saturday.

The court had not issued a decision as of time of publishing.

Mansour had amended provisions to Law 73/1956 on Monday, 6 January, allowing people living outside their governorates to vote in polling stations outside of their electoral districts in the upcoming constitutional referendum.

Presidential spokesman Ihab Badawi said the purpose of the amendment is to facilitate voting for citizens, state-run MENA reported.

The party, however, believes that the amendment opens the door for “manipulation” and the “repetition of voting at more than one polling station”.

“It greatly affects the integrity of the electoral process especially given the lack of the modern technology needed to implement it,” the party said.

Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim said in a press conference on Thursday that the cabinet would provide harsher punishments for those who abuse the newly-issued decree by voting more than once, “lest the Brotherhood use it as an excuse to claim that vote-rigging occurred”.

The court oversaw the hearing in a special session, since it normally convenes on Tuesday but held an extraordinary session Saturday due to the upcoming referendum. The referendum is scheduled to be held on 14 and 15 January and expats have already started voting as of last Wednesday.

Article 32 of the law has been amended to include the following section: “During a referendum, it is permissible for a voter who is present in a governorate other than the governorate which their address on their national ID cards falls under to vote before a polling station in the governorate which they are present in, according to regulations determined by the Supreme Electoral Commission.”


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