Hosni Mubarak asks to vote in Egypt’s constitutional referendum

Lawyer says ousted former dictator, who is currently in Cairo military hospital, wants to vote in favour of constitution

The former Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak has asked to vote in the country’s constitutional referendum, his lawyer said.

Mubarak, who is facing a retrial over his role in the killing of protesters during the 2011 uprising that unseated him, was released from prison in August and is at a Cairo military hospital.

“He wants to vote,” Mubarak’s lawyer, Fareed el-Deeb, said. “Of course it would be yes for the constitution.”

Egyptians would never have dreamed of voting in any kind of fair election during Mubarak’s era. Apart from an experiment with more open elections in 2005, polls were mostly described as a 99% victory for the former air force commander and his ruling party.

It was not immediately clear whether Mubarak would be allowed to vote. A spokesman for the Supreme Committee for Elections said it had not received any requests from Mubarak’s lawyer.

A judicial source said there were no legal obstacles to his voting, but given the security restrictions around the hospital the logistics could be complicated.

The army, which deposed the Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July after mass protests against his rule, has promised that a political road map starting with the constitutional referendum will lead to free and fair elections for the presidency and parliament.

Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood has accused the army-backed government of trying to turn the clock back to the Mubarak era. The army chief, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who ousted Morsi, is widely expected to run for president and win. He ran military intelligence under Mubarak.

Former leftist presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi was prevented from voting in the referendum because authorities had registered him at a polling station in Saudi Arabia, his political movement, The Popular Current, said in a statement.

The mistake represented evidence that the voter databases needed revising, the statement quoted Sabahi as saying.

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