Women’s council head claims ‘grave breaches’ in referendum

Mervat al-Talawy, head of the National Council for Women, has said that the referendum on the constitution experienced violations and grave breaches, and stressed that the Egyptian people would continue to fight it until it is dropped like the 1930 Constitution.

“This constitution brings the Wahhabism of Saudi Arabia to Egypt,” she said, “although the Saudis themselves are starting to get rid of it.”

At a press conference on Sunday, Talawy said the council received 320 complaints in the first round of the referendum, especially from Cairo and Alexandria, and 248 complaints in the second round, especially from Giza, Beheira and Monufiya.

“The high elections commission did not have enough time to organize the process, especially in rural areas,” she said, calling on the commission not to announce the result of the referendum before investigating all complaints it has received from the council and other human rights organizations.

“There were not enough polling stations for women,” she said. “Many had to leave as queues were too long.”

She added that the constitution has many articles against women's rights. “It was tailor-made to get rid of Tahani al-Gebali of the Supreme Constitutional Court,” she said.

She said the majority in the Shura Council are Islamists. “This confirms that the presidency is not willing to hold a dialogue for unity,” she said.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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