World Bulletin / News Desk
Some 24 Egyptian organizations, including women's rights groups and political parties, have voiced concerns over proposals to adopt the first-past-the-post system for upcoming parliamentary and local council polls, saying the system – to be applied in single-member constituencies – will undermine female candidates' chances.
"Women's rights groups and political parties have followed with deep concern the recommendations for adopting the plurality voting system for the next elections," the organizations wrote in a joint petition to a 50-member committee tasked with amending the constitution.
"The first-past-the-post system is the worst when it comes to the need to make women a part of this country's legislative process," read the petition, a copy of which was obtained by Anadolu Agency.
A committee of ten constitutional law experts has proposed several amendments to Egypt's 2012 constitution, which was suspended following the army's July 3 ouster of elected president Mohamed Morsi.
The 24 organizations, however, insist that the simple majority voting system opens the door to possible electoral manipulation.
"It also opens the way for family connections to affect the election process in ways that undermine democratic participation and real electoral competitiveness," they asserted.
Before Egypt's January 2011 revolution, which ended the three-decade rule of former president Hosni Mubarak, the government had allocated 64 seats in Egypt's 444-seat parliament for women.
In Egypt's' first post-revolution parliamentary polls in late 2011, women won only eight of the assembly's 498 seats.
The lower house of parliament was later dissolved in June 2012 based on a ruling by Egypt's High Constitutional Court.
Petition signatories included the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights and the Cairo Center for Development and Human Rights, along with the Dustour, Egyptian Social Democratic and Free Egyptians parties.
They called on the constitution-amending committee to reconsider recommendations to adopt the first-past-the-post electoral system.
Instead, they proposed a proportional representation system, which they believe will give women a greater chance to find their way into parliament and the nation's local councils.
Angelino Alfano, on a one-day visit to Tunis, met with his counterpart Khemaies Jhinaoui and President Beji Caid Essebsi and promised closer relations between the two Mediterranean nations.
Turkey extends condolences to 'friend and ally' Italy
"It's true that during the period of the presidency of Mr. Obama our relations seriously worsened on all levels," President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Obama's last full working day as US leader before Donald Trump is sworn in Friday.
Staffan de Mistura will lead the UN delegation to the meetings in the Kazakh capital of Astana that are due to begin on Monday.
May sought to reassure guests at the World Economic Forum in Davos that Brexit did not signal a retreat into protectionism, as a slew of banks revealed plans to relocate staff following her announcement on Tuesday that Britain would leave the single market.
Voicing deep concerns about the development, Stoltenberg said cyber defence will play a key role at the next NATO summit.
Rebels had escaped from Bihanga military training school after being given asylum in Uganda in 2013
Border towns show no resistance to troops, meant to force strongman president to step down peacefully after diplomacy failed
The head of Iraq's elite Counter-Terror Service, which has been doing most of the fighting in Mosul, as well as Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced Wednesday that the city's east bank had been "liberated".
Interstate Aviation Committee will analyze flight recorders of cargo plane that crashes Monday near Kyrgyz capital
Al-Qaeda linked militant group Al-Mourabitoun claims responsibility for attack on Malian military base
Mexican migrants are scrambling in an effort to reach the US before Trump takes over
The quakes, all measuring more than five magnitude, struck close to Amatrice, the mountain town devastated by an August earthquake that left nearly 300 people dead.
During his campaign, Trump said he would "bomb the shit" out of ISIL and claimed to have a secret plan to quickly defeat the group.
He had avoided home after a warning that Hamas security forces were looking for him due to his role as an organiser of recent protests over severe electricity shortages.
Jammeh's mandate ended at midnight (local and GMT) but he has steadfastly refused to leave office after losing elections last month to Adama Barrow