Egypt

Election official: SCAF has no stance on ruling to allow expat vote

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) has not taken a position on the recent Supreme Administrative Court ruling that Egyptian expatriates should be allowed to vote in the upcoming parliamentary elections, chairman of the High Election Commission Judge Abdel Moez Ibrahim said Friday.

In order for expatriates to vote in the upcoming elections, some amendments must be introduced to the parliamentary elections law, Ibrahim told Al-Masry Al-Youm, stressing that there must be an amendment to give ambassadors and consuls abroad the powers of judges during the elections.

Ibrahim suggested setting a quota for Egyptian expatriates by allocating certain seats for them to vote for while abroad, citing the example of the parliament's women quota as a model.

He also pointed to the need to issue national identity numbers to expatriates, or else allow them to use their passports as alternative forms of identification during the elections.

All Egyptian expatriates should be registered at their local consulates and embassies, Ibrahim stressed, adding that those who want to cast their votes in the upcoming elections must register before the elections start.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) and the government are obliged to consult with the High Election Commission about any draft law related to the electoral process, he said, noting, though, that according to the Law on the Exercise of Political Rights the SCAF is not obliged to take the High Election Commission's opinion into account when deciding whether or not to enforce the law, Ibrahim said.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Administrative Court on Tuesday issued a ruling that would enable Egyptians living abroad to vote in elections from the headquarters of accredited Egyptian diplomatic missions in the countries in which they reside.

The court also ruled that the government, specifically the cabinet and Foreign Ministry, must establish polling stations in all Egyptian consulates.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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