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Parliament members deny distributing ration boxes to voters
First, second day of constitutional amendments witnessed high turnout
Published in Daily News Egypt on 21 - 04 - 2019

Parliament members denied the distribution of any food rations boxes to citizens in favour of voting for the referendum of 2019 after some social media users published scenes showing people receiving boxes.
The referendum on the amendment of 22 constitutional articles started on Saturday which witnessed a high turnout as stated by the National Electoral Commission.
Social media users reported that public figures and parliamentary members are assigning campaigners to distribute food boxes to citizens after showing their voting coloured fingers.
They published photos of citizens handing boxes in front of a supply retail chain which is surrounded by posters of parliament members and media figures supporting the amendments.
Daily News Egypt contacted a number of members to comment on these report, where they denied and confirmed that if it's true they are individual acts from random people.
Parliament member Mohamed Abu Hamed told DNE that he could not deny or confirm such reports, but the national commission will investigate such a violation its occurrence is proven.
He also said that 61 million people are eligible for voting in Egypt, so these acts will never impact the voting process.
If these acts are real, then they performed by some figures who are whiling to get closer to the leadership and the president does not pay any attention to them.
"The state is not part of these acts and it is orchestrated yet voluntary work," the member concluded.
Member Saeed Hasassien also denied to DNE saying that these report are from "haters of Egypt."
"I am now at my constituency in Keradasa district, I can tell that there is a very unexpected high turnout of people in front of the polling station and there are no cartons here," Hasassien said.
Also member Ihab El-Khouly of the Imababa constituency denied in statements to DNE, saying: "this is not true at all, You can hear me now I am standing with the people in one of the polling stations and its very crowded with voters."
"If these statements are real then people would not have come to inquire about their polling stations," El-Khouly asserted.
Moreover, DNE contacted member Mostafa Bakry but he rejected to comment on these reports.
DNE visited the Imababa district and found scenes of people receiving boxes after voting in the referendum. Also, DNE contacted one of the independent district campaigners whose number was found published on posters surrounding the stands, who confirmed that there are boxes being distributed for citizens who voted.
Speaking to one of the citizens, who preferred to speak on condition of anonymity, he said: "I will not vote in favour of a carton. My voice is not cheap. I don't mind if the boxes were given to us coinciding with Ramadan but not to oblige us to vote."
On the other hand, Media figure Amr Adeeb said in press statement that the opposition group is taking a approach instead of boycotting the referendum, reporting that there was an amount of money distributed to people to vote "no." He also added that he rejected narratives of ration boxes and denied it.

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