Egypt Independent

Update: Constitution Party reports flaws in referendum voting abroad

The Constitution Party, led by political reformer Mohamed Elbaradei, released a statement Thursday condemning irregularities and violations during expatriate voting in the constitutional referendum, scheduled to last until Saturday.

The party said in a statement that violations had occurred in France, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabic, alleging that the Brotherhood distributed leaflets calling on people to approve the constitution which included the logo of the Egyptian Embassy in Saudi Arabia.

One man said he found a mark in front of his name on the list of voters indicating that someone had voted in his place. The incident was recorded on video, the statement claimed.

Officials have not allowed expatriates who were not on voter lists for the parliamentary and presidential elections to register to vote on the constitution, the statement said, adding that the election’s commissions website posted contradictory information on what form of identification was required in order to vote.

The party also said that the time allotted for expatriate voting is not adequate, as it does not take into account that Saturday is the weekend in most Western countries and thus many institutions and services are suspended.

However, the Foreign Ministry denied violations had occurred during voting on the draft constitution in embassies and consulates abroad.

“Rumors circulated about vote violations during expatriate voting in embassies are baseless,” Assistant Foreign Minister for Consular Affairs and Expatriates Ali al-Eshairy said.

Eshairy emphasized that voting was carried out in the presence of the media and representatives of Egyptian communities abroad.  

“The voting process is going smoothly. No embassies have notified the Foreign Ministry of any problems so far,” Eshairy said. “Work has been regular in all 128 embassies and 11 consulates since Wednesday morning.”  

Eshairy added that eligible voters in 25 countries without Egyptian diplomatic missions were allowed to vote by mail.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm