2018 presidential election - photo combined by Egypt Today/Mohamed Ezat
CAIRO – 18 April 2019: Four rumors have been circulating about the draft constitutional amendments that were passed by the parliament on Tuesday and the referendum that will be held in less than 48 hours.
There were claims that the amendments would reduce the powers of the House of Representatives. That is false as the draft does not include any articles on the powers of the House of Representatives.
There were rumors that the ballot papers were printed before the social dialogue held by the House of Representatives had been finished. That piece of information was denied by Speaker Ali Abdel Aal who said that such act would be irrational as it would be preceding the final phrasing of the amendments.
Another rumor stated that the amendments were an attempt to turn Egypt into a pure military state. In reality, military institutions and the presidency have never proposed the amendments or intervened in the process. The proposal was put forward by Parliamentarian Abdel Hady al-Qasabi, who is the leader of the majority at the House of Representatives, and President of the Support Egypt Coalition.
The amended Article 200 provides that: "The Egyptian Armed Forces are owned by the people having as mission protecting the country, preserving its security and the safety of its territories, maintaining the constitution and democracy, preserving the founding principles of the state and its civil status, the earned rights of the people, the rights and freedoms of individuals. The state has the exclusive right to form forces. It is prohibited that any individual, agency, entity or group forms any military or paramilitary formations, troops or groups."
The amendments are introducing a quota for women to occupy 25 percent of the House of Representatives' seats. That is in addition to ensuring that youth, Christians, expats, the disabled, workers, and farmers get a decent representation in the way that will be indicated by the executive law.
The fourth rumor was a claim that shops would be fined LE5,000, if they did not hang banners supporting the amendments. The rumor was dismissed by the Ministry of Local Development that asserted its respect for all opinions by citizens.
Expats voting will start on Friday to end Monday, while voting for residing citizens will take place on April 20-22.