FILE – Person’s hand reading braille language - Reuters FILE – Person’s hand reading braille language - Reuters

NEA to print Braille ballot papers for 1st time in planned referendum

Thu, Apr. 18, 2019
CAIRO – 18 April 2019: The blind voters will be able to cast their ballot secretly for the first time, as the National Election Authority will print Braille ballot papers, Mahmoud al-Sherif, deputy head of the NEA said.

Braille allows blind people and those who have low vision to read documents through touching raised dots representing the letters of alphabet.

In December 2017, “Alashan Tbneeha” (To Build It), a former campaign that backed President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, issued forms in Braille giving blind citizens the chance to participate in demanding that Sisi runs for a second term as president of Egypt.

As many as 531 out of 554 Parliament members approved on Tuesday a set of constitutional amendments. The NEA announced on Wednesday that a referendum on the amendments will take place for the expatriates from Friday, April 19, to Sunday, April 21.

Locals inside the country will be able to cast their ballot starting Saturday, April 20 to Monday, April 22.

Printing Braille ballot papers comes as part of the efforts exerted by the NEA to facilitate the voting process for people with disabilities. Sherif said that the NEA decided to enable the disabled citizens to vote in ground floors of polling stations that are close to their houses.

According to information announced by the NEA, the number of registered voters is 61,344,503; the number of male voters is slightly bigger that those of females. The voters can cast their votes in 13,919 polling subcommittees. Over 15,000 judges will supervise the voting process, according to information obtained by Egypt Today.

Head of the NEA Lasheen Ibrahim urged the citizens to accompany their children, enjoy their constitutional right, ignore the boycott calls, and cast their ballot in polling stations nationwide.

There will be a judge to supervise each of the ballot boxes, Ibrahim said, affirming that the NEA, the body charged with managing the electoral process, is keen to ensure the transparency of the voting process.

The approved amendments expand each of the two presidential terms allowed for any president to six years instead of four, while a separate transitional article gives an exceptional right to incumbent President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, who was re-elected in 2018, to run for a third 6-year term after he finishes his second term in 2024 instead of 2022.

The amendments also give the president the right to choose heads of courts, judicial bodies, the Supreme Constitutional Court, and the Attorney General from some nominees. He would also appoint one third of the members of the Shura Council, which was revived, this time under the name "The Senate."

14 constitutional articles subject to amendment: what changed?

CAIRO – 16 April 2019: The report of the Parliament’s legislative committee has embedded the final legal context of the proposed constitutional amendments, including adding 10 new articles and amending 14 others.

 
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