Calls to amend law enabling 'terrorists' to vote in election



Wed, 07 Mar 2018 - 05:27 GMT


Wed, 07 Mar 2018 - 05:27 GMT

FILE–Constitutional Law Professor Salah Fawzi

FILE–Constitutional Law Professor Salah Fawzi

CAIRO – 7 March 2018: Constitutional Law Professor Salah Fawzi said that according to the law, those who are listed as terrorists are banned from running in elections; however, they can participate in the voting process. As a result, Fawzi called for issuing an article to ban them from this political exercise.

Fawzi’s call comes after a parliamentary note submitted by Secretary of the Religious Committee at the House of Representatives Omar Hamroush requesting the government to prevent members of the terror-designated Muslim Brotherhood group and any extremist group from taking part in the voting process inside or outside Egypt.

A law regulating the exercise of the political rights in Egypt had been amended several times since it passed in 1956; it sets rules for the eligibility of candidates and voters, and determines how elections should be conducted. The law does not deprive those added to terrorist lists from their political right in voting, while it strips them from the right to candidacy.

Article 2 in the law on the Exercise of Political Rights No. 45/2014 sets a minimum voting age of 18 years old for Egyptians to attain before they become eligible to vote in a public election. A list of non-eligible voters includes people suffering mental disorders, convicted of terror crimes and those who are found guilty of perpetrating crimes or felonies. Members of the armed forces and police also cannot vote unless they are out of service.

For his part, Professor Fawzi called for amending Article 2 to deprive the terrorist-listed group from their full political rights by banning them from voting in elections, as they seek to disrupt the election and plan to break up Egypt by spreading fake news and rumors.

When reviewing the list of presidential candidates, the National Election Authority (NEA) considers both laws on Exercise of Political Rights and terrorist entities.

The law on terrorist entities (law No. 8/2015) clearly states that "those who were designated as terrorists or members of terrorist organizations, or placed on travel ban lists, or prevented from entering the country, or who had their travel passports withdrawn, or were not allowed to have new travel passports, or lost the stipulation of good reputation, shall not be allowed to join parliament or take charge of public posts." The designation decision can be appealed.

Since the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi on July 3, 2013, Egypt has designated the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group for their violent acts and their attempts to incite chaos across the country.

Most of the group’s members and leaders, who are either in prisons or have fled the country, were added to the terror list.

The list was updated on Tuesday with 319 new names added for three years until the court takes its final decision, and 14 others removed, as they were either dead or the time limit of their designation had expired. The Sinai Province (Wilayat Sinai) group was also added to the list of terror entities for three years, per a ruling by the Cairo Criminal Court.

Last month, the names of Abdel-Moniem Aboul-Fotouh and 15 others were added to the terror list after a court decision.

Furthermore, among those on the terrorist list are famous Egyptian footballer Mohamed Abou Trika for funding the banned Muslim Brotherhood, Morsi, Mohammed Badie, MB Guide Mahmoud Ezzat and the son-in-law of former Muslim Brotherhood leader Khairat Al-Shater, Ayman Abd Al-Ghani.

The Public Prosecution usually requests that the Egyptian court list some figures, who fund or who are involved in terrorist acts, on the terrorist list.

Over the past years, Egypt has introduced several amendments to the Criminal Procedures Law to speed up trial procedures in terror-related cases. The Egyptian Interpol has sent red notice lists to several countries to extradite Egyptian fugitives affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood.

The wanted persons were sentenced in absentia for their involvement in acts of violence, terrorism and financing terrorist groups for operating attacks to destabilize Egypt.

At the same time, the 2014 presidential election law refers that the presidential candidates should meet certain requirements to be able to run for candidacy. The candidate should be Egyptian citizens with Egyptian parents and a spouse, exercise full civil and political rights, and hold a bachelor’s degree. He should not suffer from physical or mental diseases, and should not be younger than 40 years old or have received a final conviction for a felony or crime.

The subcommittees of the election prepare the database of voters to compile the names of eligible voters and remove those stripped of their political rights.

Voting in the 2018 presidential election in Egypt will commence on March 26. Sixty million eligible voters will cast their ballots in the election between March 26 and 28 in Egypt, while it will begin on March 16 for expats from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. in each country’s local time. The winning candidate will be announced on April 2.



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