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MAAT finalizes the community dialogue on the National Commission for Elections

MAAT finalizes the community dialogue on the National Commission for Elections

“Lawyers training on defense in electoral conflicts, preserving judicial supervision on the elections, and cooperation with civil society organizations” are the most significant outcomes

Concurrently with the community dialogue sessions conducted by the parliament, MAAT for Peace, Development and Hyman Rights concluded the hearing session on the “National Commission for Elections”, on the evening of Sunday, 4th of June 2017, hosting a selected group of political parties leaders, members of parliament, members of national councils, civil society leaders, academics, researchers and experts in the Egyptian electoral affairs.

The fourth session of the “Universal Periodic Review as a Tool to Enhance Public Policy During the Transitional Period” project, in the context of the Foundation’s efforts to put forward a set of policy proposals and legislative alternatives consistent with the 2014 UPR recommendations, where the funded project by the European Union during 2016/2017 seeks to assist the state to fulfill its commitments to the international mechanism, along with promoting the different stakeholders capacity to call for and involve in the efforts to reform human rights and public policies.

The most significant amendments proposed by the “Policy Analysis and Human Rights Unit”, on the draft law sent to the parliament and concerned parties in March 2017 included, the Commission’s competence to the seizure and control of the attempts to influence voters, facilitating the participation of the people with disabilities in the electoral processes, adopting penalties in the linked cases to electoral violations, promoting cooperation with civil society organizations, establishment of the Studies and Training Institute affiliated to the Commission to build the concerned parties capacity on dealing with elections.

The session stressed on the fact that the electoral process is an integrated and continuous process, and is a culture that everybody should be engaged in its change, it suggested the capacity building for lawyers on defense in electoral affairs conflicts along with the establishment of permanent legal committees, adopting electronic voting to avoid the current flaws for the electoral process, establishment of companies responsible for electoral campaigning registered at the tax authority and National Commission for Elections to control the spending ceiling, the necessity to allow the members of parliament to work on the national and public levels instead of being occupied with local issues in their constituencies, the session also highlighted that some of the relative violations to the voting days are practiced by members of the judicial authorities themselves.

The session then recommended the continuity of judicial supervision on elections to ensure its integrity, not limiting the formulation of the Commission to the members of judicial authorities, opening up to CSOs and engaging them in the follow-up of the elections and referendums more efficiently, and the necessity to the induction of community opinions in the process of putting laws and no to draft them separate from the community.

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