Cairo. Egypt's electoral commission indicated Wednesday that it will refer some 54 million people who did not vote in this month's election to prosecutors to elect two-thirds of the Senate, a chamber that largely lacks power in the country's Parliament.
It is unlikely that people will actually be prosecuted, as the judicial system in Egypt lacks the financial means to bring such a large number of voters to court.
About 63 Millions of people had the right to vote to elect 200 of the 300 senators, but only 8.99 million – 14.23% – did so, according to the National Electoral Authority. President Abdul Fatá El Sisi will choose the remaining 100 seats.
The vote took place despite the coronavirus pandemic but the commission said it took the necessary measures so that voters could go to the polls.
Lashin Ibrahim head of the commission, had promised to enforce a law that penalizes anyone who fails to vote with a fine of up to 500 pounds However, the population paid little attention to his warning, since other similar ones have been issued in previous elections, apparently with the aim of encouraging participation and without any practical consequences. for those who do not comply.
Many people took to social networks to criticize the decision, arguing that it is impossible to prosecute some 53 million people. Others said that only shows that the government wants to raise money by all possible means.
The writer Gamal Taha stated on Facebook that the threat could anger the public, since the Senate only plays an advisory role and lacks legislative powers, unlike the House of Representatives.
The El-Sissi government has promoted the restoration of the Senate, approved as part of constitutional amendments in a referendum last year to replace the Shura Council, which was eliminated by the 2014 Constitution.