Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Irregularities reported in vote for contentious Egyptian amendments

The Egyptian National Council for Human Rights, a state-appointed body, questions the “yes” vote in Monday’s referendum on a set of 34 constitutional amendments, The Associated Press reported today.

The amendments are ostensibly designed to “abolish the emergency laws, allow election supervision by an independent commission and ban political parties based on religion,” according to the article. However, they have drawn the ire of Egyptian oppostion groups and pro-democracy activists who argue that they are actually intended to extend executive authority, stifle the Muslim Brotherhood – an Islamist opposition group that poses the greatest threat to the ruling National Democratic Party – and facilitate the rigging of elections.

The National Council for Human Rights issued a statement indicating that the referendum was beset by a number of irregularities

“Voter lists were inaccurate, some civil society monitors were prevented from observing some polling stations, local authorities in some provinces organized mass voting, and some electoral officials intervened in the voting process and sometimes filled in ballots,” the council said.

The referendum was widely boycotted and many Egyptian voters were left uninformed as President Mubarak held the vote just seven days after approval of the amendments by parliament. Consequently, only 27 percent of the 36 million voters cast their ballots.

For the full article, click here.


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