The generally positive atmosphere surrounding Egypt’s presidential elections has persisted thus far, with numbers of voters increasing steadily as we approach the conclusion of this historic event in the country’s nascent democracy.
We hope this increase in voter turnout will continue in order to strengthen the position of the new Egyptian President elected freely for the first time in decades.
However, we observed some incidents, clashes and irregularities that could have marred the electoral process including, for example:
- In Cairo, at Gamal Abdel Nasser School, in the Mousky constituency, at polling station No. 1 for men, candidates’ delegates were surprised to see that there were 200 ballots more than what they had signed for at the end of voting yesterday.
The judge had sealed ballot boxes, at the end of the first election day, with the delegates noting the total electorate figure was 1391 voters only. This morning, the head of the polling station asked delegates to sign again after the addition of two hundred extra vote cards. The candidates’ delegates reported this incident and an investigation is underway to take further legal action as necessary.
- In Kafr El-Sheikh governorate, polling site No. 18 at Alhamul Secondary School for Girls, an unfortunate incident unfolded. The supervising judge was attacked verbally by a candidate’s delegate. In the end, the problem was resolved and the judge – who was determined to close the polling site – was persuaded to keep voting going smoothly.
- In Dakahlia province, a number of defunct National Party thugs attacked voters, men and women, in the village of Abu Jalal. The attackers smashed a coach under the leadership of M. A. a known criminal.
This spread fear and panic among the voters and prevented them from going out to cast their ballots. Meanwhile, the army and the police did absolutely nothing about these abuses.
- Two voting stations, at Sidi Ghazi School and Martyr Fawzi Ibrahim School in Sidi Ghazi, Kafr Al-Dawar province, witnessed heightened tension after supporters of a certain candidate attacked and assaulted Dr. Mohamed Morsi’s supporters, using knives and wooden clubs and batons, which led to distress and chaos in front of the voting stations.
The head of the polling site had to shut down the two stations for some time, until police and troops arrived and set up a security cordon in front of the site, dispersing all people from the area, except for those who had the right to vote at the site.
Subsequently, one of Dr. Morsi’s supporters – who had been assaulted – reported the incident to the police.
- In Qaliubiya governorate, in the village of Sanafir, there were reports of two buses going around the area, carrying electioneering posters and advertisements for two different candidates, the details of the buses have been noted.
- In Husseiniya Secondary School for Girls – Sharqiya – at polling stations No. 30 and 31, we witnessed a police officer directing voters to elect a specific candidate.
- In Fayoum province, in Alaziza village, at voting site No. 5, our observers witnessed the supervising judge allowing a police officer to cast a ballot, although he knew he was a police officer – in blatant violation of the elections law.
- In Aswan Thani constituency, in Abdul-Malak Awadin School, at voting station No. 14, our observers reported that the supervising judge insisted on personally seeing the faces of fully veiled female voters although female staff were present in the station and could have done the job without any problems.
- In the province of Beheira, Shobrakhit village witnessed an incident where regular patrol officers made their way into polling site No. 41 and cast ballots in violation of the law.
Finally, the Muslim Brotherhood’s presidential candidate Dr. Mohamed Morsi paid a visit to his campaign’s information center, and met with the campaign team to follow up on events and developments.