The Egyptian Shura Council’s Sunday decision to delay the voting rights of police and military personnel has stirred up debates and controversy in the dispute-stricken country. The upper house of parliament made the decision only a few days after the Supreme Constitutional Court ruled that security personnel should vote in elections since the new constitution says “all citizens have the right to vote.” Based on a request by Assistant Defense Minister for Constitutional and Legal Affairs Mamdouh Shahin, the Shura Council on Sunday agreed in principle to prepare the voting database of police and military personnel in a number of distant stages.
As the process would not be completed until the end of July 2020, it virtually meant that police and military officers cannot exercise their voting rights before then.
Some security experts in the country believe the participation of security personnel in elections risks national security, while others say these citizens cannot be deprived of their constitutional rights to vote.
“If police and army officers take part in polls, partisan tendencies could be created inside such sensitive security institutions,” security expert Sameh al-Waziri told Xinhua.