x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

FNC member reports smooth voting process at Egypt polls

Ahmed Al Jarwan of Sharjah travelled to Egypt as a member of the Arab Parliament to observe voting for the new constitution.

ABU DHABI // The Arab Parliament was impressed with the voting process in the referendum for Egypt’s new constitution.

Ahmed Al Jarwan, head of the parliament and member of the Federal National Council, travelled to Egypt with parliament members from Algeria, Sudan, Jordan, Yemen and Bahrain to oversee voting across the country.

The members were given their choice of polling stations, most of which were around Cairo, and observed for the two days.

“The Arab Parliament was invited along with other international organisations,” Mr Al Jarwan said.

“The goal of the visit is to observe the voting process and depict the real scenes from the streets of Egypt at this time.”

After spending Tuesday at polling stations in Cairo, Giza, Zamalik and Arbeen, Mr Al Jarwan (Sharjah) said he was satisfied the process was going smoothly.

“It was a pleasant day,” he said. “We saw a great deal of organisation and cooperation between those working in the polling stations and the voters.

“A lot of people were very happy and many women left the polling station ululating with joy.

“We were particularly interested to monitor any clashes or doubts inside the polling stations but there were none. There was a lot of cooperation from everyone.”

Mr Al Jarwan said he was surprised to see so many women, disabled and elderly citizens queuing for hours to cast their vote.

“Which just shows the need for people to have their say,” he said.

He said people kept politics to themselves and those supporting the constitution did not bother those who were against it.

“The police and military were of course there, but their presence was not threatening,” Mr Al Jarwan said, adding that United Nations monitors shared that view.

“I hope that the results help Egypt to achieve what it needs for the people of the country, not a certain sect.

“Attending such events in the Arab world is crucial.”

Members of the Arab Parliament have also observed voting in Sudan and Mauritania.