Tuesday, October 25, 2011

#Right2Vote : An important step

Just from few minutes ago the administrative court has issued a historical court rule that restore the complete rights of citizenship for not less than 10 million Egyptians.
The administrative court has granted the Egyptians abroad the right to vote in the Egyptian embassies and consulates considering the embassies and consulates as the address of the Egyptian voter in the National ID just like Law 73 of year 1953 implies "yes year 1953 implies so and it even says that if Egyptians are on Egyptian ships in the sea , the ship will be considered as polling station"
This lawsuit was filed by Hisham Mubarak law center along with a group of Egyptians living abroad including famous Egyptian novelist Ahdaf Swaif.It was filed against the government and SCAF to overturn the amendment of Law 73 that was issued in May 2011 and cancelled articles. From what I understand the amendment in May 2011 stated that the poll station are only determined with the address of the voter in the National ID without any reference to the Egyptian abroad. Now the new court rule gives back this right to the Egyptians abroad.
The government can appeal the court rule in front of the high administrative court which can refuse the appeal from the first session. Personally I do not think that the government will appeal because the government already hinted out that it will grant the Egyptians abroad the right to vote in presidential elections and referendums from couple of weeks ago. Based on what I see the Egyptians abroad insh Allah will be granted the right to vote in presidential elections and referendums.

 The ministry of interior is already sending delegations from the civil state organization to issue national ids in the following arrangement :
  • United States "Los Angeles" : From October 27th to November 4th 
  • Canada "Montreal" : From October 27th to October 30th 
  • Canada "Toronto" : From October 31st to November 3rd 
  • UK " London" : From November 7th to November 23rd 
  • France "Paris" : From November 24th to November 27th
Now I hope that the ministry of interior and ministry of foreign affairs understand that in a country like the States some Egyptians will find it heard to come in time so I hope that they send delegations not only in Los Angeles but to San Fransisco , Chicago and New York. Speaking about the big apple, here is the general consul of Egypt in NY : Youssef Zada on twitter. According to Youssef Zada short tweet answer on questions on twitter it is the SCAF's call now and not the Ministry of foreign affairs.

Realistically speaking the Egyptians abroad may not participate in the parliamentary elections because it is based upon the electoral districts and we do not have time now to search for solutions as the elections are only weeks away. Still we can learn from other countries like India on how their expats participate in the parliamentary elections. Already I do not think that our system is complicated as India's. I think this makes us rethink our parliamentary system as a whole , it seems that the lists system will be better to implement than the individual system.
Of course it is worth to mention some people speculate that SCAF can use this court rule to nullify the parliamentary elections' results claiming that Egyptians abroad were not allowed to vote.
Before you speak and say that the Egyptians abroad do not live in Egypt thus they do not have the right to participate in shaping the present and the future of this country , I would like to hint out that the money transfers from Egyptians abroad to Egypt in 2011 , till October 2011 have reached so $12 Billion alone. In average before the revolution the money transfers usually reached to $9 billion. They have a vote and right. You must know that 72% of Egyptian abroad are expats who live and work abroad but not for permanent immigration and they can't leave their works for one day to vote in Egypt and return back. You must know that 28% of Egyptian abroad are permanent immigrants including the best minds in science , one word : Zowail. Tell me one good reason why Ahmed Zowai or Essam El Hagy or Mustafa El Siyad can't vote as long as they keep their Egyptian nationality and enjoy all rights as well as their duties. 
Now Egyptians abroad are not that voting bloc that can shift voting power as somebody believe , the liberals vs. conservatives or Christians vs.Islamists because as you got Egyptian community in Europe and US , you got even bigger community in the Gulf . It is somehow balanced.
It is not the end , we are still waiting for an official decree. It is a step , big step

1 comment:

  1. If our fellow Egyptians and our Egyptian government realized how Egyptian we Egyptians-living-abroad are, they would do all they can to make it possible for us to participate in all future elections and referendums, whether or not we sway the vote one way or the other.
    It is our country, and it is our right.
    Thank you, Zeinobia, for covering this issue.
    T. El-Manadily


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