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NEA has exclusive right to announce results, not polling stations
Counting process shall take place after expiry of period specified for voting, NEA
Published in Daily News Egypt on 22 - 04 - 2019

Head of the National Election Authority (NEA), Lashin Ibrahim, said on Monday that the authority has received regular reports on the work progress in all polling stations in the referendum on amending the constitution on the third day of voting in all governorates.
Ibrahim added that the work of the polling stations started as organised from 9am this morning, and that the authority has not received any complaints regarding the voting process, stressing that it is going well in full swing and regularly, and that citizens lined up before polling stations before the voting process began.
Deputy Chairperson of the NEA and its official spokesperson Mahmoud Al-Sharif, said that the number of judges supervising the referendum is 15,234 in all polling stations, noting that there are 4,015 judges on call in case of an emergency.
The voting and counting process shall take place after the expiry of the period specified for the vote, in the presence of media representatives and organisations which have valid permissions from the NEA.
He pointed out that the media has the right to be present in the polling stations during the counting process, but the announcement of any results or figures is prohibited. According to the law, the results of the polling stations are allowed to be announced in case of elections, but in the case of the referendum the NEA is the only body which has the right to announce results.
He confirmed that the chairperson of the committee monitors the attendance numbers, correct and false votes, and prepares a report for the authority.
Al-Sharif denied on Monday any extension in the voting period of the referendum on the constitutional amendments, stressing that the referendum time would not be increased for a fourth day.
He said in media statements that the voting centres were alerted during the rest period between three and four o'clock in the afternoon to receive citizens and facilitate the process of casting their votes.
Al-Sharif stressed the continuation of work in the polling stations after nine o'clock in the evening if there were any voters in the electoral complex who want to cast their ballots even after the closing date of the station.
The number of Egyptians eligible to vote in the referendum on the constitutional amendments is 61 million and 344,503, which has been held on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.
Al-Sharif noted that whoever publishes news which affects the outcome of the referendum will be punished according to the law, adding that everyone or media outlets are being warned against broadcasting news or statements which might affect the outcome of the electoral process.
He stressed that no Arab, foreign, or Egyptian organisations have been banned from monitoring the referendum.
The Central Operations Chamber of the National Council for Human Rights announced on Sunday that the referendum witnessed some positive features such as increased participation rates due to the facilitations of voting procedures for voters, especially expatriate polling centres, the role of the security forces in securing polling stations, and the voting of people with disabilities and the elderly.
In its statement, the council noted that the chamber has received a number of complaints regarding the referendum process such as the use of banners in the vicinity of some polling stations to urge voters to vote “yes”. There were also complaints about errors in the street addresses and the polling stations.
The chamber added in the statement that it monitored a number of loudspeakers around a number of polling stations, broadcasting patriotic songs to urge voters to vote “yes”, and the continued presence of young people wearing t-shirts belonging to the ‘Mostakbal Watan' political party, before a number of polling stations.
The referendum polling stations witnessed a high turnout of citizens to cast their votes since the opening of the polling stations during the last two days of voting, which lasted for three days.
For his part, Al-Sharif, said that the voting process is proceeding accurately and transparently, and no one is directing voters.

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