CAIRO: With the outcry resulting from the extent of violence and violations taking place during the parliamentary elections, and the inability to secure a free and fair atmosphere, a civil society and elections monitor group has called for the Egyptian government to resign
The National Campaign for Monitoring the Elections, a coalition of four civil society organizations, sent its monitors throughout polling stations in different governorates during the three phases of the elections. The monitors issued reports of violence, particularly during the second and third phase of the elections.
The request by the group is coupled with a call issued by judges,who have requested the resignation of the minister of interior – due to the ministry’s inability to protect them from violence – on Dec. 4, at a meeting hosted by the Judges Union.
Judges in different ballot stations recounted to the media examples of their safety being in jeopardy. Some were locked inside ballot stations, while others completely lost control over the electoral process in the presence of police.
Civil society organizations called for the government’s resignation in a press conference following their witnessing of various irregularities during the polling process.
“We primarily want the resignation of the minister of justice, as he is the head of the electoral commission and he did not perform his role properly, said Ahmed Samih, executive director of Al Andalus Institute for Tolerance and Anti-Violence Studies. “Violations were countless and they proved the failure of the government to plan and organize the elections. “There is an obvious negligence from the government in regulating the process. Take for example the issue of ballot boxes’ transfer.We saw in Alexandria that the ballot boxes were transferred in taxis. In more rural areas, they were transferred in private microbuses that are not paid by the government. This is obviously a lack of organization, added Samih.
Non-governmental organizations monitoring the elections won a case since the presidential elections, when a court ruling allowed them to access ballot stations and report from inside on actual voting procedures. However, in many cases during the parliamentary elections, which began on Nov.9, monitors were not granted access to ballot stations.
Meanwhile, a more recent court ruling allowed more leeway to election monitors, as the court granted them the use of closedcircuit television cameras to be placed inside ballot stations.
Besides calling for the resignation of the cabinet, the National Coalition has also called for holding comprehensive investigations covering all violations that marred the electoral process in all of its three rounds.
The third round of the elections took place on Dec. 1 amidst numerous reports of violence. The run-off for this round is taking place today. So far, 76 seats have been secured by the Muslim Brotherhood.