- Middle East/North Africa
Security forces will protect all polling stations until the end of both rounds of voting in the constitutional referendum, the Interior Ministry promised on Friday.
Interior Minister Ahmed Gamal Eddin instructed security forces to remain outside the polling stations and not to attempt to sway voters’ decisions. Security forces will collaborate with the Armed Forces, the ministry said.
“Instructions were given to all leaders, policemen and conscripts in charge of securing the stations to safeguard against any attempted violence or other inciting actions that would affect the process, voters and their opinions. Orders given include arresting those who commit the mentioned actions and referring them to authorities in charge of investigations,” the statement said.
The High Elections Commission ruled that the referendum would take place in two rounds due to the limited number of judges who agreed to supervise voting. Ten governorates, including Cairo, are scheduled to vote on Saturday 15 December, while the remaining 17 governorates would vote on Saturday 22 December.
Mahmoud Abu Shousha, a member of the commission, said that 9,000 judges were available to supervise the elections.
The governorates of Cairo, Alexandria, Daqahlia, Gharbiya, Sharqiya, Assiut, Sohag, Aswan, North Sinai and South Sinai are scheduled to vote in the first round.
The second round would include Giza, Qalyubiya, Monufiya, Beheira, Kafr al-Sheikh, Damietta, Ismailia, Port Said, Suez, Matrouh, Red Sea, New Valley, Beni Suef, Fayoum, Minya, Luxor and Qena.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm