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.
Family is one of many who hope land they say was stolen by industrialists will be returned under Bangsamoro peace agreement
The prisoners are among hundreds rounded up during mass demonstrations by reformists protesting against the disputed re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in presidential elections in 2009
Kenyatta will hold talks with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani and senior government officials on enhancing ties
State Department spokeswoman said on Friday the U.S. Treasury Department would look into the matter to determine if there were any violations of sanctions imposed on Iran.
Al-Ahmad said that he briefed the top Egyptian diplomat about proposals made during recent trilateral meetings between the Palestinians, Israelis and Americans with the aim of reviving peace negotiations
The arrival of aid convoys into the coastal enclave has been recently hindered after Egyptian authorities tightened restrictions on the border with Gaza
Most of the delegates representing the SPLM-N have already arrived in the Ethiopian capital for the talks, scheduled to kick off Tuesday
The accident focused attention on the risks sherpas take and on overcrowding on Everest, where the number of fatal accidents has risen in recent decades, although it dropped last year.
The Ukrainian Interior Ministry noted that its police were unable to operate in Slaviansk since pro-Moscow gunmen took over the town earlier this month
Afghanistan's Independent Election Commission said initial results based on almost 50 percent of the vote from the 34 provinces showed Abdullah in the lead with 44.4 percent
The governor has accused the government of using Boko Haram pretext to commit genocide against the people of the north
Search for the missing 84 girls continues in the Sambisa forest
The bomb attack left five security guards dead as militants managed to take dozens of students and professors hostage after raiding the premises
Militants have killed 14 Algerian soldiers in an ambush during a patrol in mountains east of the capital Algiers
Egyptian-born cleric whose sermons have often admonished the authorities in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), said all views expressed in his preaching were his own and not those of Qatar.
Pictures posted on SANA's website showed Assad, dressed in a beige blazer, waving and examining antiquities as he toured the area with church officials