Report number 2: The Results of the Monitoring Efforts Conducted by the Egyptian Coalition for Monitoring Elections Fears from the Increasing Violence throughout the Second Half of the Day

November 29th, 2010 by Editor

Within the context of the efforts of the Egyptian Coalition for Monitoring Elections (hereinafter the Coalition) to monitor the electoral process of the parliamentary elections taking place today –28/11/2010-, the second report is issued to document and report all the violations which marred the electoral process. It could be said that violence is one of the most obvious features of the electoral process so far. The gravity of the situation reached the extent of the occurrence of death incidents including the death of the son of the independent candidate running for the workers’ seat at Ain Shams and Mattariya constituency, El-Sayid Abu Amr, who died of wounds after being stabbed by a penknife causing extensive injury to the heart after which he was transferred to El-Mattariya Educational hospital. Moreover, the brother of Hassan El-gendy -the independent candidate running in Biyala constituency in the governorate of Kafr El-sheikh- has been attacked by the supporters of his opponents which caused extensive injuries in the abdomen, and he is still currently admitted to the intensive care unit in the International Hospital of El-Mansoura. In addition to these incidents, one of the injured has died in front of one of the polling stations after suffering a heart assault due to the crowdedness. Another citizen –Muhammad Shata Salama- was shot in the polling station of Awlad Khalaf primary School in Damietta.

The Coalition has thus warned against the grave consequences of letting violence dominate the scene of the electoral process in some constituencies which increases fears from the spread of acts of violence in the second half of the day. Violence is not the only violation today; pre-marked voting ballots, preventing the civil society observers from accessing polling stations and assaulting them, bribes, mass transportation of voters who are pressured to vote for certain candidates, errors within the polling stations, and harassing and assaulting journalists are all violations tainting the credibility of this election.

 

The Coalition has documented the violations reported to its operating room listed below:

 

First: the use of bullying and violence:

 

Several incidents of death, beatings, and assaults resulting in severe injuries have been reported by the Coalition observers drawing a dark picture and raising skepticism about the anticipated elections results. The son of El-Sayid Abu Amr –an independent candidate in Matariya- has been killed while hanging a sign supporting his father. He was then disrupted by bullies who started a fight with him and eventually stabbed him in the heart resulting to his death.

In the governorate of Suez, the Coalition observers reported the presence of  a car with the license plate numbered T S M 375 loaded with bullies armed with bladed weapons terrorizing voters around the polling stations.

Also in the governorate of Monofeya, several Monofeya cab cars with the license plates numbered 41318, 40875, 832812, and 841552 loaded with civilian-dressed people who are preventing the voters from accessing the polling stations.

Along the same lines, the Coalition observers at Awlad Khalaf School polling station in the governorate of Damietta have witnessed an incident of police brutality as a police officer had assaulted some women and started kicking them which led the citizens to group around the scene trying to stop it after which the security officers started shooting their guns at people which caused the injury of Muhammad Shatta Salama in the head. An officer has also hit another citizen -Mahmoud Raghib El-Gebaly- with the back of the gun on the head.

In the governorate of Giza, the Coalition observers in the polling station of Taha Hussain Preparatory School for Boys in the first constituency of the Munib district have reported an incident of preventing voters from accessing their respective polling stations by bullies armed with sticks and clubs. Observers at the polling station of Kafr El-gabal School for Girls  in the El-Haram district have also reported that the deputy of the National Democratic Party’s (NDP) candidate takes the voting ballot from women and mark it for them in favor of the NDP candidate before he puts it in the ballot box.

A fight between the NDP candidate and an independent candidate has been further reported by the observers in Nag’ Hamadi in the governorate of Qena which has been resolved after taking place inside the polling station.

In Cairo, the Coalition observers reported the occurrence of clashes between the deputies of independent candidates and the deputies of the NDP candidates in a protest against election fraud in favor of NDP candidates.

The scenario of brutal violence continued in the governorate of Dakahleya in the constituency of Atmida as Muhammad Soliman Amasha -the brother of the Wafd party candidate- has been stabbed with a penknife by the supporters of the NDP candidate. Amasha has been then transferred to Al-abrar Specialized hospital which kept him for treatment.

The phenomenon of violence during the elections rising to the extent of causing deaths and having relatives of different candidates and their supporters killed disfigures any possible results of the elections. It has been a widespread phenomenon during protests, demonstrations, riots, elections and any other occasions where citizens get the chance of freely expressing their will, that the police avoids directly committing acts of violence against citizens and instead protect large forces of armed bullies as they assault citizens. The bullies tend to disappear after such incidents. They usually arrive in groups and are allowed to do whatever they want no matter how much violence they stir. The fact that they are protected by the forces of the police and that –as showed from evidence gathered by observers and listed above- they never assault NDP candidates or government supporters and instead direct all their violence against opponents and representatives of the opposition and the civil society organizations dedicated to exposing corruption, suggest beyond a logical  doubt that they are the government’s tool of masking its brutality against the citizens to avoid criticism from the international community and embarrassment on the national front.

 

Second: pre-marking voting ballots:

The Coalition observers in the polling stations of El-etara and Abu Za’bal of the eighth constituency of El-Khanka have reported the occurrence of election fraud in favor of the NDP candidates as the ballot boxes were filled with pre-marked ballots in favor of NDP candidates. Pre-marking ballots has also been reported in the polling station of the fourth constituency of the Qous district.

Pre-marking ballots could not be called anything less than robbing people of their will. As if terrorizing voters and coercing them into voting for certain candidates was not enough, their votes have been put in boxes for them. Complete polling stations have been closed to voters as their ballots were being marked for them behind closed door.

 

Third: closing polling station:

The Coalition observers have reported the closing of the polling station number 133 of the sixth constituency of the Menia Governorate to all voters, observers and candidates’ deputies and only allowing the deputies of the NDP candidates to access the polling station. Another polling station has been reported to be closed in the governorate of the 6th of October in Modern Oseem School preventing the voters from accessing the polling station.

In Kafr El-sheikh, the observers has also reported surrounding the village of El-hanafy of El-hamoul with security forces in a blockade-like style thus preventing voters from accessing the polling stations and thus practicing their voting rights.

 

Fourth: Preventing the civil society observers from accessing the polling stations and harassing them:

Reports on harassment directed against civil society elections observers include an incident where the Coalition observers have been prevented from accessing the polling stations of El-amiriya Preparatory School for boys, El-sayida Aa`isha School, the Religious Institute School, Suzan Mubarak School and El-Sayida Khadiga School of the Ezbit El-shal district in Bandar El-mansoura district of El-dakahliya governorate even though they had authorizations issued by the Higher Election Committee (HEC).

In the governorate of Monofeya, the observers have reported an assault on Rida Ahmed Mahmoud El-Hadidi in Om El-abtal preparatory School of Tila district while phone-reporting the incident of closing the polling stations of the School by the security forces. He was then taken and beaten by individuals of the security forces who did not allow anyone from accessing the polling station.

The Coalition observers have also reported an incident in El-hamoul Commerce Secondary School for girls in the fourth constituency where the representative of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) Samar Abdulrahman was detained for half an hour.

In the governorate of Beni Suef, the obersvers have been prevented from accessing the polling stations of El-sha’b primary School Mubarak preparatory School of the first constituency claiming that only voters and candidates’ deputies are permitted into the polling stations. Also in Dakahliya, a representative of the Coalition was preventing from accessing polling stations number 109:119 in Sandub Preparatory School for boys in the district of Bandar El-mansoura as 6 members of the security forces are present in front of the polling stations’ door and only allow people in very slowly claiming that there are voters inside which hinders the electoral process. In Helwan, one of the Coalition of observers has been prevented from accessing the polling stations of El-saf Preparatory School for boys.

 

Fifth: preventing the candidates’ deputies from accessing the polling stations and assaulting them:

The Coalition observers at polling stations number 55-59 in El-Sifa elementary School in the governorate of Suez have reported the prevention of the deputies of the independent candidates from accessing the polling stations while allowing the deputies of the NDP candidates into the polling stations.

In Luxor, the observers at the polling stations of El-Dab’iya Preparatory School for girls, Mubarak School in the area of Nag’ El-Hadadeen of the Arment district have been reported an incident where the deputies of the independent candidates have been prevented from accessing the polling stations while exclusively allowing those of the NDP candidates.   

In the governorate of Damietta the Coalition’s observers at Al Salamen village at polling stations number 107-109  of the fourth constituency of the district of Al Zorqa have reported that the police officers expelled all candidates’ deputies out of the polling stations while exclusively allowing the NDP candidates’ deputies to access the polling stations.

Also, in the governorate of Kafr El-Sheikh, the Coalition observers of polling station number 4-10 in Al Hamoul Commerce School for girls of the 4th constituency have reported that the opposition candidates’ deputies were prevented from accessing the polling stations. Also in polling station number 116 in the village of Tera, the deputies of the opposition candidate Hamdein El Sabahy were expelled out of the polling stations.

In Assiut, the Coalition observers at Sadfa School polling station in Sadfa El Ghanaeim constituency reported that the deputies of the independent candidate Mohammed Mahmoud Sultan were prevented from accessing the polling station for not having an authorization from the police station.

The Coalition observers at the 4th constituency of the district of  Quos in the governorate of Qena have reported that the candidates deputes had been prevented from accessing the polling stations on the pretext of the not having their authorizations sealed by the police.

– In the governorate of Esmailia, the Coalition observers at the 1st constituency of Al Zeraa School polling station reported that all the candidates’ deputies were prohibited from accessing the polling station, except for the deputies of the NDP candidates.

It has been reported by the Coalition observers at thepolling stations of Salah El Dein and Al Giza Schools in the governorate of Giza that the deputies of the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidates were prevented from accessing the polling stations, while permitting it for NDP’s Candidates.

In the governorate of the 6th of October, the Coalition observers of the constituency of Ausim  have reported that the opposition parties’ candidates’ deputies were prevented from accessing the polling stations in spite of holding valid authorizations while the NDP’s candidates’ deputies were allowed to enter.

Also, in the governorate of Al Daqahli, the Coalition observers of the constituency of Bandar El Mansoura have reported that the police station refused to issue authorizations for the candidate Ibrahim Al Iraqi even though he applied for authorizations for 200 deputies, but was only granted 5.

 

Sixth: bribes:

The Coalition observers at the constituency of Bandar Bany-Suif have reported that the NDP candidates -Ali Bakry Selim and Magdy Bioumy- distributed money among the workers, beginning from 50 to 500 pounds in an effort to obtain their votes.

Moreover, in the governorate of Al Qaliubia, it has been reported that in Al Sharqauia polling station of the Shoubra constituency,  the NDP candidate has distributed the pink elections cards with a money attached to them (one and two hundred Egyptian pounds bills) among voters in an effort to obtain their votes in addition to delivering  several bribes before the elections began as he slaughtered a veal everyday every day of the Eid and many other contributions. 

 

Seventh: mass transportation:

The Coalition observers at the polling stations of Al Maadi School at Al Maadi Constituency in the governorate of Helwan have reported that public buses were transporting the voters -supporting the NDP candidates- to the polling stations to vote for them.

Also, in the governorate of Cairo, the Coalition observers at Al Douiqa constituency have reported that buses were dispatched to transporting voters to the polling stations in favor for NDP candidates. Also they have reported that there are public buses  transporting voters to the polling stations of Al Maadi School in the governorate of Helwan to vote for the NDP candidates.

 

Eighth: Errors in the polling stations.

The Coalition observers at polling station number 130 in Al Saieda Aiesha School have reported the lack of  phosphoric ink as the voter Islam Mohammed –registered under the record number: 3715- had sealed his thump with a red sealing wax which  was removed once he was out of the polling station.  

 Also in the governorate of Al Dakahleya, the Coalition observers at polling stations number 109:119 in Sandoub Preparatory School for boys in the district of Bandar El Mansoura have reported the presence of NDP candidates electoral propaganda tools attached to  private cars and cabs in addition to the propaganda in the polling stations of the Religious Institute in El-Geish Street, and the polling stations of Suzan Mubarak Primary School and El-sayida Eisha School in favor of the NDP candidates.

Along the same lines, the governorate of Cairo has been reported to witness the presence of electoral propaganda tools and ads in favor of the NDP candidates in polling stations number 58:66 in El-zaytun Public Preparatory School for girls in the district of El-bahariya.

These propaganda tools and ads are in contradiction to the law of political participation and the instructions of the HEC. Even though security forces are present around the polling stations preventing deputies and observers from accessing polling stations using the HEC instructions as reference, none of them is taking action against the ads and signs of the NDP candidates surrounding the polling stations.

 

Ninth: harassment and assaults against media representatives:

The Coalition observers at the El Hamoul 4th constituency in Al Hamoul city of Kafr El Shiekh Governorate have reported the kidnapping of Ahmed Saied- a journalist at Al Youm El Sabie- by the proponents of the candidate Essam Abd El Ghaffar, during his coverage of the electoral process and after disclosing an incident of collective voting at Al Banat Industrial School for girls.

Moreover,  in the governorate of Cairo, the Coalition observers at Al Maadi Secondary School in Al Maadi constituency have reported that a journalist and a photographer of Al Akhbar Newspaper were prevented from taking photos even from outside the school.

 

Terrorizing voters, buying out their votes, elections fraud, violence, deaths, violations of the law and of the instructions of the HEC, unequal treatment by the police forces, and having polling stations close their doors to the voters are the dominant features of the day. Public transportation services have been utilized to advance the interests of the NDP candidates raising question on how much the governorate is abusing its power to further such interests against elections laws and regulations. From the standing point of first hand witnessing the gross violations committed and protected by the security forces and administrators of the polling stations, the Coalition is voicing a deep concern about the integrity of the whole electoral process and the credibility of any upcoming result of this elections.

  

 

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