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  • Sunday ,06 March 2011

Army sets March 19 for referendum on constitution

By-Marwa Al-A’sar-Daily News Egypt

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Sunday ,06 March 2011

Army sets March 19 for referendum on constitution

 CAIRO: A referendum on the constitutional amendments will take place on March 19, cabinet announced Friday on its Facebook page, citing the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.

The voting process will kick off at 8 am and end at 7 pm, the statement added.
The referendum will be on amendments to articles 75, 76, 77, 88, 93, 139 and 148, the cancellation of article 179, inserting a paragraph in article 189 and the addition of two items to it.
The ruling army council has been running Egypt since Hosni Mubarak stepped down on Feb. 11 while serving his sixth term. 
On Feb. 13, the military suspended the constitution, forming a committee of legal experts a few days later to amend a number of articles.
On Thursday, the Ministry of Interior announced on its official page on Facebook that citizens will vote using their national IDs not voting cards.
"There is no need to check the voters' registry lists," said the Ministry of Interior on Facebook. "All you need is a valid ID and you can go to the nearest polling station to the address mentioned in the ID."
Based on the constitutional amendments of 2005, the judiciary had no direct oversight on parliamentary and presidential elections and were replaced by an appointed Supreme Electoral Commission.
“[But] this referendum will be held under full judicial supervision,” committee member and lawyer Sobhi Saleh previously told Daily News Egypt.
The Ministry of Interior supervised elections in Egypt. It was frequently accused by the opposition of vote-rigging in favor of the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) candidates.
Most of the suggested articles have to do with regulating legislative and presidential elections as well as parliamentary and presidential jurisdictions.
“Article 76 [that governs presidential candidacy and elections] was the most complicated of them all,” Saleh, also a Muslim Brotherhood group member, said.
“We had to compare it with similar ones in other constitutions [to reach a conclusion],” Saleh added.
The Egyptian constitution is made of 211 articles. It was adopted in 1971 and amended in 1980, 2005 and 2007. - Additional reporting by Mai Shams El-Din.