NCHR to form operations room to follow expat voting
Egypt's National Council for Human Rights.

CAIRO: An operations room will follow Egyptian expatriates’ complaints during the voting process in the parliamentary elections, set to begin Oct. 17-18 abroad, according to Youm7.

The room is to be adminsitrated by the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) and 136 organizations amid the lack of observers outside the country.

“The council will announce telephone numbers and emails allocated to receive complaints [from expatriates],” Deputy Head of NCHR Abdel Ghaffar Shokr told Youm7 Wednesday. According to Shokr, the council will contact the High Elections Committee and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs over any violations spotted during the voting process.

The Egyptian Coalition for Human Rights and Development, which includes eight rights organizations, will follow the processes abroad via its Facebook page and telephone numbers.

The only coalition that is known to have observers outside Egypt is the Egyptian Coalition to monitor Elections, which comprises 128 organizations in Geneva, Switzerland.

The HEC has cancelled the voting process in Libya, Yemen and Syria. Egyptian diplomatic offices in the aforementioned countries have been shut down due to security and political turmoil; Yemen has witnessed since January an armed conflict between the Saudi Arabia-backed government army forces and Iran-backed Houthis.

Egyptian expatriates are scheduled to cast their votes in the election in two phases: the first round beginning Oct. 17 and 18 while the second will be carried out Nov. 21 and 22. The expats should have ID numbers or passports to cast their votes in 139 stations.

A total of 17, 465 local observers from 81 local organizations and 717 foreign observers from seven international organizations will monitor the first phase of the elections, set to begin Oct. 18 in 14 governorates.

Some 2,573 independent candidates, including 112 women, will be competing for 226 seats, while six party lists will be competing for 60 seats, making the total number of parliament seats available in the first phase 286.

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