Egypt election committee head resigns amid rigging allegations
Cairo: Egypt`s top election official overseeing a referendum to decide the fate of a controversial and polarising draft constitution, has resigned citing health reasons, two days ahead of the second phase of voting amid widespread allegations of irregularities and rigging.
The opposition is up in arms against the government of President Mohamed Mursi and the draft constitution that critics see as being "too Islamist" and have levelled allegations of irregularities in the first round of the vote on December 15 that turned out to be a narrow `yes`.
Secretary General of the Election Committee Zaghloul el-Balshi announced he is stepping down and cited "a sudden health crisis" as the reason for his sudden resignation last night.
"The effort I put in over the past period has caused a sudden health crisis... As you know, it is impossible to carry out my mission with this health condition," read the letter of resignation he sent to the election committee.
According to Al Jazeera, his relatives told local media that el-Balshi had undergone eye surgery.
However, not all are buying health as the reason for his stepping down. Some critics said the irregularities in the first round of referendum vote proved too much for him.
"The violations were blatant, and he couldn`t bear more, so he resigned. Don`t believe what is said about his health condition," Hossam Eissa, a leading opposition member, was quoted as saying by Al Jazeera.
The first round of referendum last week saw almost 44 per cent of Egyptians saying `no` to the constitution drafted by an Islamist-dominated Constituent Assembly, with a second round set for Saturday.
Opposition members said the `no` vote percentage was too high to be ignored.
"No country in the world would accept a constitution pass
with only 50 per cent of the population in agreement," said George Ishak, member of the National Salvation Front (NSF), a grouping of opposition parties who had campaigned for rejecting the constitution draft.
A number of rights groups and opposition parties had filed complaints of violations during the first round of the vote. They complained that at several places a vote was held without a judge overseeing it and at several places judges were replaced by employees.
Egypt`s Justice Ministry has ordered an investigation into the allegations.
Many judges had also boycotted overseeing the referendum, in protest against President Mursi`s action of "abduction" of the Supreme Constitutional Court.
Egypt`s Constituent Assembly on November 30 in a marathon session approved the draft constitution imposing Islamic values, a move opposed by Liberals as an attempt to restrict freedom of speech and religion in the country.
The articles passed, stipulated that Islam is the religion of the state, and the principles of Sharia, or Islamic law, are the "main source of legislation".
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Zee Media exclusive chat with 'Welcome to Karachi' cast
- Reservation issue: Police register case against Bainsla, 20 others
- Zee Media exclusive interview with Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar
- UP Minister allegedly threatens, abuses Gonda businessman
- Manali: Heavy corruption found in environmental taxes
- UP: Jammu-bound Muri Express derails in Kaushambi
- Five unmanned parachutes spotted over Mumbai airport
- Aapke Sitare: Astro prediction for May 24, 2015
- Watch: Fast N Facts @ 7:30pm
- Dawood's intercepted phone calls prove yet again he is in Pakistan
- One year of Modi govt: How satisfied is the common man?
- Jaipur girl Mini Rajpal wins Miss India Deaf 2015!
- CBSE Board Class 12th Exam Results 2015 declared
- Mumbai architecture creates double decker bus from scrap!
- One year of Modi govt: How satisfied is the common man? Part-2
- IPL 2015 Final: MI vs CSK - As it happened...
- CBSE.nic.in 12th XII Results 2015: CBSE Board (cbseresults.nic.in) Class 12th XII Exam Results 2015 to be announced on May 25
- Heatwave continues in North India; death toll in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana more than 400
- IPL 2015 final: Mumbai Indians thrash Chennai Super Kings by 41 runs to lift second title
- Heatwave claims over 550 lives so far, Delhi saw hottest day
- LIVE - Cbse.nic.in & cbseresults.nic.in Class 12th XII Results 2015: CBSE Board Class 12th XII Exam Results 2015 to be announced shortly
- Check cbseresults.nic.in for CBSE Class 12 result 2015
- Cbse.nic.in & cbseresults.nic.in Class 12th XII Results 2015: CBSE Board Class 12th XII Exam Results 2015 declared
- Kejriwal completes 100 days in office, AAP says centre 'shadow boxing' over row with LG
- Mathura rally: PM Modi slams 'corrupt' UPA regime, lauds NDA govt's efforts in past one year
- Two dead, over 100 injured as Muri Express derails in UP; Prabhu announces Rs 2 lakhs ex-gratia for kin of dead
- CBSE Class 12 results out: Here's how you can check
- PM Narendra Modi's Mathura rally: As it happened
- Not just today, Muslims feeling alienated since 1947: Najma Heptulla
- Check WBBSE (wbresults.nic.in) Class 12th Results: West Bengal Board (wbscvet.org) Higher Secondary Class XII Vocational Results to be declared today at 4 PM