Egypt Independent

Elections commission head may not oversee next round of voting

Zaghloul al-Balshy, the secretary general of the High Elections Commission

, may not be able to supervise the second round of voting in the constitutional referendum this Thursday for health reasons. However, the commission would still carry on its work without him, Balshy told Al-Masry Al-Youm on Tuesday.

Balshy is scheduled to undergo an urgent retinal detachment surgery on Tuesday. Doctors have told him to rest after the surgery, which could preclude him from continuing as head of the commission, Balshy said.

The second phase of the referendum is scheduled for 22 December. The first stage took place last Saturday 15 December across 10 governorates in Egypt. Initial vote count results indicate that so far 57 percent have voted in favor of the draft constitution, with 43 percent voting no.

The State Council announced yesterday that it would boycott overseeing the second stage of voting due to what they say was the state’s failure to provide adequate protection for judges, as well as to protest the sit-in staged by supporters of President Mohamed Morsy around the Supreme Constitutional Court.

The Judges Club has also announced that its members would boycott the electoral process, in protest against the constitutional declaration Morsy issued in November placing his decisions above judicial oversight.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm