The following text was written for the petition I lauched for asking to the High Council of Armed Forces of Egypt to reconsider their decision of deniying the right to vote for Egyptians living abroad. If you are an Egyptian living abroad and feel concerned about the denial of your rights, feel free to sign the petition here and share it with your contacts.
Indeed, The Egypt’s Military Council, in charge of leading the country since February 11th 2011 after putting an end to 30 years of Mubarak’s autocratic regime, decided to deprive Egyptians abroad from their right to vote. The Egyptian diaspora represents 4 million people living in 139 countries. Their rights as citizens were denied to them for the very arbitrary reason of the possibility of their votes being “sold” to non-Egyptian interests. The Egyptian diaspora is fully part of Egypt, and the Egyptians living abroad are therefore asking for their rights as citizen to be respected.
To: the High Council of the Armed Forces of Egypt
We, Egyptians living abroad, consider ourselves as fully Egyptians.Our reasons for migration are very different from one person to another, and very few of us consider living outside of Egypt as a deep aspiration. For many of us, it was merely a necessity: some had to migrate to look for a better living, sometimes being simply denied the opportunity to live decently in Egypt under the 30 years of autocratic regime, some others were forced to look for a safe place for they were haunted for their subversive opinions, some even work from abroad for the improvement of their country of origin (in International Organizations for example), some were also born abroad from Egyptian parents. What we have all in common is our love for Egypt and our concern for the future of our country.
We consider the denial made to our right to vote, based on the enventuality that our votes might well be “bought” by foreign interests is not only discriminatory towards us, but is also against the principles of the New Egypt we all wish to see blossoming. Besides being based on an unjustified and subjective preconception, it also sends a strong message to Egyptians living abroad: “You are unworthy to Egypt”.
We are aware of the technical difficulty to coordinate polling stations in 139 countries, but we don’t consider it as a reason for the denial of our rights as citizens. Not only many countries offer to their diaspora the possibility to vote, thus proving it is possible, but also this would mean that a minor technical constraint is stronger than our noble principles of freedom, democracy and unity.
We urge the Marshal Mohammed Tantawi, Chairman of the High Council of Armed Forces of Egypt to consider our determination to participate to the political life of our country and to give us our right to vote, regardless of our country of residence.
Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.