Tne of the top officials in charge of overseeing Egypt’s vote on a contentious draft constitution has resigned citing health problems, while critics believe the resignation was prompted by widespread irregularities. Zaghloul el-Balshi, the secretary general of the election committee, attributed his resignation to “a sudden health crisis”, according to a copy of a letter he sent to the committee on Wednesday that was published by several Egyptian dailies including the privately owned el-Watan. Relatives told local Egyptian media that el-Balshi had undergone eye surgery. “The effort I put in over the past period has caused a sudden health crisis,” the letter of resignation read. “As you know, it is impossible to carry out my mission with this health condition,” it added. Critics, however, believe the resignation was prompted by reports of widespread irregularities.
“The violations were blatant, and he couldn’t bear more, so he resigned. Don’t believe what is said about his health condition,” Hossam Eissa, professor of law in Ain Shams University and a leading opposition member, said.
“Half of the people will not recognise this constitution.”
In an interview with daily al-Masry al-Youm, a senior member of the committee, Mahmoud Abu-Shousha, warned the opposition “not to exploit the sickness of the man and describe his resignation as caused by what they consider violations in the first round”. Egypt’s Justice Ministry has ordered an investigation into allegations.