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Summary of the first report on the Parliamentary Elections 2005
Summary of the first report on the Parliamentary Elections 2005 Shadow Committee for Monitoring Election  اNational Campaign for Monitoring ElectionCivil Society Elections Monitoring Observatory   Three coalitions of human rights organizations have joined forces to monitor each of the three stages of the parliamentary elections for the purpose of documenti
Thursday, November 10,2005 00:00
by EOHR,

Summary of the first report on the Parliamentary Elections 2005
Shadow Committee for Monitoring Election  ا
National Campaign for Monitoring Election
Civil Society Elections Monitoring Observatory

 

Three coalitions of human rights organizations have joined forces to monitor each of the three stages of the parliamentary elections for the purpose of documenting the historical event.

These coalitions are the Shadow Committee for Monitoring Elections, the National Campaign for Monitoring Elections and the Civil Society Elections Monitoring Observatory. These human rights organizations have no affiliation to, nor do they associate themselves with, the political activities of any party, political group or candidate. The mission of the coalition is exclusive to the monitoring and ensuring of free and fair elections, and they respect all political parties, whether the ruling party, the opposition, or independent candidates, according the provisions of the Constitution, the Law, and international human rights law.

The coalition believes that yesterday’s vote differed from previous ones, as it witnessed several positive phenomena: the relative neutrality of security bodies; the absence of systematic instances of fraud; permitting civil society organizations to monitor the process both inside and outside polling stations, and to attend the vote count process; the cooperation of judges with the observers in order that they may carry out their mission; and the use of transparent boxes for vote casting.

Nevertheless, civil society observers also witnessed violations affecting, in one way or another, the initial results of the first stage of the parliamentary elections. The results of this is the indication that the new parliamentary will not differ from the previous one. These violations are represented by the following:
1. Outdated Voter Register
Observers discovered many mistakes concerning the voter register including the listing of names of deceased persons, repeating of names, the absence of some names, and discrepancies between the voter register of the National Democratic Party and all other parties and candidates. For examples, observers of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights witnessed many mistakes in the registration lists of Dokki and Agouza. It emerged that these lists have not been updated for fifteen years. The EOHR discovered 556 instances of collective voting, 350 instances of collective voting which were carried out by the Department of Environment, and 13,000 repeated names registered in one polling station. The above instances were also repeated in polling stations of Giza. Mistakes made in voter register resulted in low turn out, which varied between 15% and 20%.

2. Collective Voting for National Party Candidates
Observers witnessed instances of collective voting for some members of the National Democratic Party. This was especially evident in polling stations in Cairo and Giza. Additionally, collective voting for the candidates of the NPD was carried out by civil servants of the Department of Customs in al Omraniya School polling station. Election identification cards were issued for these individuals so that they may vote for the candidates of the NDP.

3. Violence and Bullying by NDP Supporters against Opposition Candidates & the Muslim Brotherhood
Observers witnessed the forced entry by unknown people in some polling stations in Manial and Kasr Al Nil. Violence broke out in Sayeda Zainab between the supporters of the NDP candidate and the Muslim Brotherhood which led some individuals to leave the polling station, before voting, due to fear for their safety.

4. Coercion and Bribery
The distribution of money and food affected the will of many voters, particularly in polling stations in Cairo and Giza. In addition, civil servants encouraged voters to support the NDP candidates in the polling stations of Assiut, Cairo and Giza.

5. Misuse of Public Funds
In some instances, public transport vehicles were used to transport supporters of the NDP candidates to polling stations. This occurred in Helwan, Giza and some polling stations in Cairo.

Recommendations:
1. Reconsidering the constitutional and legal framework organizing parliamentary elections through drafting a new legislation to replace the current law on the exercise of political rights. EOHR has already prepared an alternative legislation to be presented to the new parliament.

2. Providing the Parliamentary Elections Commission with the necessary legal and practical resources so that they may oversee the voter registers in order to update and refine registers.

3. Using national ID cards instead of the pink voter cards in all future elections and referenda.

4. Separating the state institutions from those of the ruling NDP to prevent the use of public money and resources during parliamentary and presidential elections and introducing legal provisions that clearly state the neutrality of state owned media.

5. Monitoring campaign expenditures and funding and enforcing the LE 70,000 limit, and monitoring the use of religious slogans during the campaigning period.

6. Establishing a permanent judicial committee, encompassing the most senior vise president of the Court of Cassation and the Supreme Administrative Court. The Committee will have the mandate to appoint the supervising judges and will deal with all appeals relating to the electoral process.

7. Ensuring objectivity and neutrality of the security forces during the coming stages of the parliamentary elections.

8. Providing the candidate’s representatives and civil society monitors with official accreditations to participate in the monitoring of the electoral process during voting, transfer of ballot boxes and the vote count.

9. Amending the electoral system to be based on the relative list system to replace the current individual seat system, and allocating a percentage of seats to women.


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