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Doubt cast over judicial oversight - Daily News Egypt

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Doubt cast over judicial oversight

Questions about the number and authority of judges go unanswered by electoral body

Judges Conference. File Photo/AFP

Members of National Salvation Front parties met with the Supreme Electoral Commission to voice their doubts over the validity of judicial oversight at Saturday’s referendum polling stations.

State Authority Judges are one of the only groups willing to participate in Saturday’s vote and they say they are 6,700 strong.

However, Ahmed Al-Hawary, a coordinating member of Al-Dostour Party puts their numbers closer to 3,500 and says they are not actually judges but rather lawyers with a level of judicial power that can be applied in the case of elections.

Al-Hawary said this is the result of a 2006 lawsuit that stated the General Prosecution can oversee the referendum and elections, giving these State Authority Judges their power.

“It is illegal for anyone but judges to observe the election,” confirmed lawyer Mohamed Fadel. “A lot of judges have withdrawn who participated in the first phase of voting. The final number is not set yet for the second stage and anyone in the election who sees someone beside a judge supervising should report it.”

In an effort to clarify this grey area, those in the meeting with the SEC asked for a list that outlines every participating judge’s name, which judicial entity they come from, and where they will be supervising during the vote.

Al-Hawary and an exasperated NSF spokesperson, Khaled Dawoud, said that this list had not yet materialised, but they are still waiting.

“This alone shows that the referendum is unlawful,” concluded Al-Hawary.




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