Egyptian court gives vote to police, army
CAIRO — Egyptian Islamists and former members of the nation's military voiced concern on Sunday about the potential pitfalls stemming from a decision by the country's top constitutional court that would allow members of the armed forces and police to vote in the nation's elections.
Egypt's army and police barred soldiers, conscripts and members of the security forces from voting while in the service. The ban, which was written into law in 1976, was widely seen as a move designed to keep both the military and the security agencies out of politics — despite the fact that the country was run by former generals.
The Supreme Constitutional Court said on Saturday the ban violated the country's new constitution, which stipulates that all citizens have the right to vote.
The court shot down 12 other articles of the election laws drafted by Egypt's Islamist-led legislature, saying they too went against the charter.
Human rights groups and some in Egypt's secular opposition welcomed the decision, saying that in Egypt's nascent democracy the right to vote should be extended to all Egyptians. Islamists and former members of the military, however, expressed fears that the decision risks forcing the nation's highly polarized politics into the armed forces.
“This is a threat to national security. Divisions in the streets will be reflected in the military — the sectarianism, the partisanship,” said Hossam Sweilam, a retired general who served in the military for more than 30 years.
The Brotherhood, winner of both the parliamentary and presidential elections that followed the country's 2011 uprising, and its fellow Islamist groups pushed back against the decision, which would add more than 1 million votes to Egypt's 50 million registered voters.
Some in Egypt's secular opposition praised the ruling, while cautioning that safeguards need to be put in place to ensure the police and military are not abused by political powers in the election process.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Blair to quit post as U.N. special Middle East envoy
- Nuclear talks bog down as Iran team balks at key decisions, envoys say
- Relentless heat wave kills more than 1,000 in India
- Rocket fired from Gaza Strip strikes Israeli port
- Discipline recommended for 3 officers in $36M Army boondoggle
- Eiffel Tower temporarily shut down as employees walk out
- Dozens dead in gunfight on Mexico ranch
- Women’s walk across Koreas’ DMZ denied; they cross by bus
- Saudi King Salman vows retribution for suicide attack on mosque
- Malaysian authorities find mass graves, link them to human trafficking
- Conservative populist Duda becomes Poland’s president