Opposition complains of voting problems

Dec. 19, 2012 at 7:36 PM

CAIRO, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- The head of Egypt's election commission said Wednesday he will be unable to supervise the second round of the constitutional referendum.

Judge Zaghloul El-Balshi, secretary-general of the Supreme Electoral Commission, said he has had to give up his duties because of eye surgery, Ahram Online reported. Earlier, there had been rumors he had given up his post for political reasons.

The second round takes place Saturday. Last Saturday, 9 million people voted, about 31 percent of those eligible, with 56.5 percent supporting the draft constitution and 43.5 percent rejecting it, Egypt Independent reported.

The National Salvation Front and other opposition groups said there were widespread irregularities. They complained of long lines in neighborhoods believed to be heavy with opposition voters.

In Qraqera, a village in the Delta governorate of Sharqiya, voters said the polling station was shut down for more than an hour while supervisors ate lunch and prayed.

"They shut down the station under the pretext of prayer," Tarek Farouq, told Egypt Independent.

Hundreds of people marched in Cairo Tuesday to protest alleged irregularities.

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