In the first challenges of the work of civil society organizations to monitor elections, High Elections Commission issued 20 permits from 125 for EOHR
May 31st, 2010 by Editor
The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) expresses its deepest worries on receiving 20 permits from 125 permits submitted by EOHR to the High Elections Commission on Sunday, 30/5/2010 in order to monitor Shura elections scheduled in June 2010, the matter which will harm the transparency of the electoral process and will increase the questions on the extent of the Commission’s commitment to the international and constitutional standards to ensure the integrity of the elections and this is considered an impede for civil society organizations to monitor the electoral process.
It is worth noting that EOHR has already submitted a request for 125 permits for observers in 36 constituencies distributed over 22 governorates, however the High Elections Commission
agreed to give just 20 permits in 4 governorates (17 permits in Damietta, and one permit in Cairo and Helwan, Giza per each), which there are not any permits for the rest of the requests without explanation of any reasons for this behavior.
For his part, Mr. Hafez Abu Seada, chairman of EOHR, confirmed that the attitude of the High Elections Commission is a strange as EOHR abided by the commissions’ conditions from submitting a copy of IDs and two personal photos for observers, however it rejected issuing permits.
Abu Seada added that the attitude of the commission is not towards EOHR only , but it is a general conduct towards all the NGO’s which have the permission to monitor the electoral process. This is consider a dangerous indicator concerning the integrity of the coming elections, specially that the refusal came without showing any explanation or clarifications and it is contrary to what declared by the commission of setting rules to get permits to monitor the elections, these rules represented in the registration of such associations allowed for monitoring elections, also these associations shall abide by signing a statement for applying the Egyptian laws, and to be impartial towards all candidates, such matter abided by EOHR which is registered by the Egyptian law.
Abu Seada confirmed that EOHR stressed on it’s persistence in monitoring the elections and also its commitment to apply the provision of the administrative decision ( issued in November 2005) which permits the NGO’s to monitor the elections inside and outside the poll stations, monitoring the counting votes and announcing the results. He called the national council for interfering and taking the necessary measures to issue permits for observers, in cases of not issuing the permits aforementioned, the national council will monitor the elections by ordinary authorizations for executing the above mentioned decision of the supreme administration court.
It is worth noting that EOHR has undertaken the monitoring process since 1995 till now, in 1995 EOHR was a member in the Egyptian committee for monitoring elections , this committee was formed to monitor the legislative elections in 1995, EOHR undertook the monitoring and the observation process of 88 constituencies, at the end of the electoral process the committee issued a joint report included an evaluation for the electoral process. EOHR also monitored elections in 2000.
In 2005 , EOHR was the general coordinator of the civil coalition for monitoring the election which is composed of 22 human rights organization to monitor the presidential and legislative elections. In elections 2010, EOHR formed a coalition among 148 (organization\ centers\ associations).
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