PRESS: First Lady Intissar al-Sisi on Saturday casting her ballot in the new constitutional amendments
CAIRO – 20 April 2019: First Lady Intissar al-Sisi on Saturday cast her ballot in the new constitutional amendments in El-Shaheed Yousry Emara School in Heliopolis.
Polls opened Saturday through Monday with 61 million Egyptians eligible to vote on the new amendments, which would increase the presidential term from four to six years, allocate 25 percent of parliamentary seats to women, re-introduce the Shura Council and reinstate vice president post.
TV channels showed queues of voters at some polling stations waiting minutes before the doors were opened and they were allowed in to cast their ballot by either agree or disagree on a set of proposed constitutional amendments passed by the parliament Tuesday.
A number of societal dialogues were held over the past weeks attended by various segments and experts in the country, to discuss the amendments ahead of a plenary session at the House of Representatives, where parliamentarians voted for passing them.
On Saturday, a number of consulates have also opened their doors to continue the three-day referendum process abroad, which kicked off on Friday. The first embassies to open was in New Zealand and Australia.
Egyptian nationals in China have also started flocking to the Egyptian embassy in Beijing for the second day of referendum. The first day of voting has reportedly seen many Egyptians at the polling stations abroad.
Egyptian expatriates started a three-day voting on the new constitutional amendments in 140 embassies and consulates of 125 countries worldwide, amid massive campaigning for the amendments abroad and domestically.
“The referendum on constitutional amendments will be completely supervised by the judiciary,” said Judge Lasheen Ibrahim, head of the National Election Authority, at a press conference held at the headquarters of the State Information Service in Cairo’s Nasser City district. “There will be a judge at every ballot box. The media and civil society will be able to follow the process.”