Legislators and political parties’ representatives call for the electoral proportional list and new constituencies
September 15th, 2011 by Editor
The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) held “The parliamentary election and the democratic transformation in Egypt” conference on Wednesday, September 14, 2011, in Pyramiza Hotel, Dokki. A group of legislators, academics, political parties’ members, media specialists and civil society activists called for conducting the forthcoming parliamentary elections with the electoral proportional list. They also called for new electoral constituencies for providing equal chances for all the political parties, independent candidates, women and Copts.
Mr. Hafez Abu Seada, the head of EOHR, opened the conference by talking about the preparation for the parliamentary election observation. He stated that EOHR will provide training for non-trained people on electoral observation. He also stressed on the significance of electoral observation for guaranteeing fair and transparent elections. In this transitional phase, the Egyptians are in need to more electoral fairness safeguards. He also stated that the proportional list is the most suitable electoral system for the Egyptians.
Mr. Negad Al Borai, attorney at law, the director of United Group for Legal Advising, emphasized on the role of the civil society organizations in observing the electoral process for guaranteeing fair elections. He also called for the international observation of the forthcoming elections, side beside with the local observation in order to have the complete vision of the status of the electoral process.
Within the first “Parliamentary Law” session, Dr. Hassan Nafa, professor of political science, Cairo University, stated that the forthcoming parliamentary election is the most important electoral process ever. First, this is the first election after the Egyptian revolution. Second, the forthcoming parliament will be responsible for drafting the new Egyptian constitution that guarantees people’s rights and freedoms and establishes the state of law.
Nafa pointed out that the people in power in Egypt currently do not represent people because they are not elected. A new constitutional declaration has to be issued in cooperation with all the political powers for achieving all the ambitions of the Egyptian people.
Dr. Amr Hashem Rabea, an expert in Al Ahram Strategic and political Studies’ Center, called for cancellation of all the current political participation laws and drafting new laws suitable for the democratic transformation phase in Egypt. The current laws are all defected.
Dr. Ahmed Abu Baraka, the former parliamentary member, said that the electoral system in any country plays an important role in the establishment and progress of the political and ruling system. The new electoral law divided the parliamentary seats geographically between the proportional and independent candidates’ lists.
Mr. Esam Sheha, Attorney at law, called for conducting the parliamentary elections on the proportional list basis. The forthcoming election process is very important to the future of Egypt; all people with all their attitudes should express themselves.
Dr. Hani Sari El Din, Professor of Law – Cairo University, called for amending the Egyptian constitution to mention clearly conducting election on the proportional list basis, within article 38. He also said that the current parliamentary system does not suite the current democratic transformation phase.
Within the second session, electoral constituencies, Dr. Emad Gad, an expert at Al Ahram Center for Strategic and Political Studies, the new division of electoral constituencies does not suite the Egyptian democratic transitional phase. Electoral constituencies were divided within the same way used before the revolution. It serves some candidates and causes harm to the others.
Mr. Abdel Ghaffar Shokr, Expert at the Arab and African Research Center, pointed out that the importance of the forthcoming election comes from being the parliament responsible for placing the new Egyptian constitution the main pillar for democracy after the Egyptian revolution.
Mr. Abu El Ezz El Hariri, the former parliamentary member, called for issuing the political parties’ programs to the public in order to choose the best from among them all. The selection option is new to the Egyptian people after the revolution. All freedoms were absent before the revolution.
Ahmed Abdel Hafez, attorney at law, called for cancelling all the old laws that used to control the political life in Egypt.
During the third session, the electoral observation, Dr. Gamal Zahran, Professor of political science, Suez Canal University, stated that the procedures related to social reform have to be taken in this era before the parliamentary election.
Mr. Farid Zahran, the Director of Al Mahrosa Center, pointed out that observing or monitoring elections does not mean interference or even affecting the electoral results. The observation shows what happen within the electoral process to the public, locally and internationally. Observation missions detect, document and announce all the witnessed electoral violations.
Mrs. Nehad Abu Al Komsan, director of the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights, stated that election is one of the most important components of the real democratic life. It is important for enabling people to protect their freedoms and participating in the decision making process, based on the polling box results. She also said that the civil society organizations observed the electoral process since 1995 and documented many violations. The observation reports illustrated what happened and shown all the corruption incidents within the electoral process to the public.
Mr. Tarek Al Shami, director of Al Horra Satellite Channel in Cairo, talked about the restrictions, imposed by the past regime, on broadcasting the press releases and statements and the necessity of having a governmental approval before publishing. The same rustications were also imposed on the text messages of the mobile phones.
Mr. Samir Omar, the reporter of Al Jazera Satellite Channel, also criticized the governmental restrictions on media after the revolution. He criticized the decision of the Minister of Media that stops issuing licenses for new satellite channels.
Dr. Amani Al Tawel, the expert at Al Ahram Center for Strategic and Political Studies, stated that the civil society organizations played an important role in monitoring elections in Egypt before the revolution. As a result, distortion campaigns were directed against those civil society organizations in addition to security persecution.
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