The League of Arab States Secretary General, Haifa Abu Ghazaleh - Press Photo The League of Arab States Secretary General, Haifa Abu Ghazaleh - Press Photo

Arab League praises referendum process on constitutional amendments

Sat, Apr. 20, 2019
CAIRO - 20 April 2019: The League of Arab States Secretary General, Haifa Abu Ghazaleh, praised the progress of the referendum on amendments of some articles of the Egyptian constitution, according to a statement issued by the Arab League Saturday.

This came during Ghazaleh's inspection of a number of polling stations in Cairo's district of Zamalek in order to follow up the voting process.

According to a statement, Ghazaleh said that the voting process began smoothly in the polling stations despite the delay in some places, adding that the voters asserted that the referendum's logistics were available.

The voters highlighted also the key role played by the army and police personnel in securing the voting process, she added.

An Arab League team started Saturday its mission to follow up the voting process in the referendum on constitutional amendments, slated for April 20-22.

The team members, who are of 13 Arab nationalities, are tasked with assessing the conformity of the referendum procedures with the National Election Authority’s decisions in this regard.

An operations room affiliated with the Arab League will be in contact with the team members during the days of referendum. The room is set to release periodic reports about the following-up process.

The first day of the referendum kicked off in Egypt, where polling stations across governorates have opened their doors at 9 a.m., and will close at 9 p.m. for three consecutive days.

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."
 
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