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.
"All member states greenlight early EU ratification of Paris agreement. What some believed impossible is now real," European Union President Donald Tusk said on Twitter.
The UN refugee agency said now around 100,000 people -- many of whom had fled into the town in search of safety -- could no longer leave after government troops surrounded the area.
Looking drawn and dressed in a dark suit, Ntaganda took his place in the dock behind his defence lawyers at his trial in the International Criminal Court, with a witness giving testimony.
Participation of Shia militias in upcoming campaign to free ISIL-held Mosul could spark sectarian conflict, experts warn
He also reported a sharp drop so far this year to 210,000 people seeking safe haven in the biggest EU economy as of last week.
The Czech leader said Prague was "disturbed by the increase in hateful attacks in Britain aimed at the citizens of EU member states".
90 pct rise in August in the number of refugees trying to make perilous journey across the Aegean
Nicosia District Court judge Dona Constantinou was satisfied that Seif al-Din Mohamed Mostafa, 58, would get a fair trial in Egypt and would not be persecuted for his political beliefs.
Fighter jets have taken off from the Charles de Gaulle carrier in the Mediterranean Sea.
Supporters of leaders who have presided over atrocities attack each other online, spreading hatred and drawing deep wounds
The Obama administration will relinquish control of the internet’s “address book” to a California-based nonprofit organisation
UEFA slaps Celtic with 10,000-euro fine after fans flew Palestinian flags during match against Israel's Hapoel Be'er Sheva
Khartoum, for its part, describes allegations as 'fabricated'
Kurdish Regional Government chief visits Baghdad for first time in three years
Michel Desaedeleer, a Belgian-US national, had been linked to exploitative diamond trade in war-torn Sierra Leone
A leaked document has shown that Moscow has been offering tips on how to conduct a propaganda campain