Friday, May 27, 2005

Egypt's constitutional Change

Two days ago i practiced - for the first time ever - my legal right to vote.
I went down to the police station to vote in the referrendum about amending the constitution of the election process in Egypt.

I found out that my Voting committee - Committee 18 is in a school nearby, along with Committees 11 till 17.

I headed there - happily and excited about making my voice heard and about being a part of our Nation's future.

Being one of the lucky people i already have a voting card - so i faced no problem. Citizens born after 1982 can vote with their ID cards as it is updated to include your voting status - at least this was communicated to us by the media.
Apparently that did not happen - no voting card - no vote!

Others got screwed over and didn't even find their names enlisted in the voting lists - they probably said "No" too many times!

At the School I got my first shock! inorder for any Voting Committee to be opened 3 voting people must go in at the same time and vote, then wait around with the officials in the voting room till 7 pm when it closes.
The reason behind that is that noone should be in the voting room alone with officials.
The result? only my committee was opened - 3 poor women were trapped there waiting till 7 pm - and the rest of the committees peple came to vote, and found out that they can't so they left.

My second shock came shortly after - i read the proposed change in the consititution. I read it 3 times and shook my head in disbelief!
I felt completely and utterly offended - like someone is trying to convince me that Elephants can Fly.
It took me a good 10 minutes to absorb the shock - at that time the people around noticed and volunteered to explain the process assuming i didn't understand. One of them even said " honey, it doesn't matter what you vote, it's already been decided".
I went behind a black curtain voted - folded my paper - threw it in the Box, got into my car and drove - with the biggest frown on my face.

The next day I found out i was one of the lucky people who got to put my vote in a big wooden box - others had to give their papers to officials who put them in a big envelove.

Democracy In Egypt? I guess not...

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