Military source: Law removes quota for women in Parliament, denies vote for expats

A new law on political rights approved by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces would deny Egyptian expatriates the right to vote and remove the quota for women in parliament, a senior military source said. 

Despite a previous proposal to allow expatriates to vote in elections, a final form of the law has been approved by the ruling military council and handed to the interim cabinet, the source said. 

The details of the law will be announced at a press conference Saturday.

The law would also cancel the quota for women in Parliament, adopt individual and proportional electoral lists and divide parliamentary elections into three phases. 

The military source told Al-Masry Al-Youm that allowing expatriates to vote would be difficult because nearly 4 million Egyptians live abroad in 139 countries.

"Votes abroad would not reflect constituents true will because the existence of electorate blocs would facilitate vote buying," the source said. "Egyptians abroad wouldn’t be interested to know who would represent them as much as the local citizens would."

The interim constitution does not require a quota for the number of women in Parliament, but merely allows it, according to the source.

“Our society calls for equality between men and women. Therefore, we cannot allocate a quota for women alone,” said the source. “The existence of such a quota might also provide Parliament membership for feminist elements that are not suitable for the task. Hence, the military council is seeking to achieve a parliament that represents the people’s actual will.”

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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