Court receives first lawsuit against postponing army votes

Cairo's Administrative Court received its first lawsuit demanding the Shura Council revoke its decision to postpone army members' right to vote in elections Thursday.

The Shura Council’s Legislative Committee on Sunday approved in principle a proposal by assistant Defense Minister for Constitutional and Legal Affairs Mamdouh Shahin to delay voting rights until 2020.

Lawyer Samir Sabry, who brought the case, claimed the council's decision is unconstitutional.

The Supreme Constitutional Court also ruled that several articles of the proposed electoral law were unconstitutional on 25 May, adding that a law that forbade army and police officers from voting was unacceptable.

Egyptian military personnel and policemen have not had the right to vote in the past.

Sabry said Thursday that the decision by the Supreme Constitutional Court "was a right and proper decision that returned to the armed forces and police a right they had been denied without reason."

Opponents to military voting rights fear military personnel would not make election choices at the polls independently.

Islamist groups currently dominating the council, which holds temporary legislative powers, say they want to keep the army and police out of politics.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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