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Low Turnout and Vote Rigging Mar Municipal Elections, Ikhwanweb Reports
Low Turnout and Vote Rigging Mar Municipal Elections, Ikhwanweb Reports
Municipal elections had originally been scheduled for April 2006 after the unprecedented success of the Muslim Brotherhood and independents in 2005 Parliamentary elections.
Tuesday, April 8,2008 11:55
by Nadine Abdullah, Mohamed Ismail IkhwanWeb

Municipal elections had originally been scheduled for April 2006 after the unprecedented success of the Muslim Brotherhood and independents in 2005 Parliamentary elections. It was widely assumed that the Presidential decree for postponing such elections for two more years, to be held on 2008 instead, was because the Egyptian regime did not want to risk an Islamist success at the ballot box so soon after Parliamentary elections.
The importance of municipal elections have increased after the constitutional amendments introduced on May 2005, giving municipal council members’approval  a prerequisite for presidential candidates. Such importance made the Egyptian regime commit numerous violations against all opposition, form the MB or any other independents, even before the beginning of registration in today’s municipal elections.
It’s noteworthy that the regime’s violations in municipal elections have not stopped even after the MB’s statement yesterday declaring boycotting such elections.
Elections in vain
In Daqahlia governorate northern Egypt, one of those supervising municipal election committee in Meet-Ghamr centre told Ikhwanweb correspondent that running elections in that committee is quite futile, as the number of candidates listed there is even less than the number required for voting.
Voting Papers outside Polling stations
Two candidates in Meet-Ghamr centre have surprisingly withdrawn the elections yesterday, leaving the list with only 23 candidates while voting should be made on 24 out 25 candidates.
In Alexandria, Ikhwanweb’s correspondent was able to have voting papers after finding people distributing them outside polling stations, confirming that the NDP members are those distributing it.
Worth mentioning that those voting papers are available only to a cast a ballot, and are not allowed to be outside polling stations under any circumstances.
As if there were no elections
Also in Alexandria, Saad Zaghloul, Abdel-Khaleq Hassouna, and Al-Shaheed Abdulsalam schools are voting stations are held, the stations were late in opening, and it was declared afterwards, in the presence of Human rights monitors, that the elections were annulled in the three voting stations.
A large number of polling stations in Alexandria and Damietta governorates have rarely witnessed the presence of any voters till today noon.
Ikhwanweb’s correspondent in Damietta said that all stations were rarely empty, and no clashes among security forces and votyers have occurred, saying that the unusual silence in all stations around him makes him feel it is not the elections day.
However, electoral fraud has began in Damietta constituencies a few hours ago in which bogus entries in voters’ registrations occurred and monitors were prevented from getting inside polling stations.
NDP withdraws in Mahalla
In Mahalla governorate, which witnessed mass demonstrations and vandalism between civilians and the state security forces during the last two days, eight NDP candidates have withdrawn the municipal elections today morning in an attempt to calm down Mahalla people, leaving the polling stations there for Independent candidates of Al-Ghad, Al-Wafd, and other independent parties.

NDP votes for its members on behalf of voters

local elections taking place today, hundreds of the NDP members are drafting votes for the NDP candidates after the very poor turnout of voters.

In Buhairah governorate, dozens of General Transport buses transferred the employees to the ballots to draft votes in favor of the NDP. Such an event was repeated in Damietta, Daqahlia, Alexandria, Isma`iliya, Qena, and al-Menia as confirmed by our correspondents.

There are many ballot centers that remained closed till 10 am despite determining 8 am for them to begin; as happened in tens of ballot centers in Damietta and Daqahlia.

In Tukh city- Qaliubiyah, the security forces withdrew the micro-buses licenses and kept them since yesterday to be used in transferring the voters, employees, prosecutors, and officials to the ballot centers.

The drivers stressed that the seized vehicles mounted nearly 100 ones; they were threatened of not restoring their licenses if not obeying the security forces in moving the voters to ballot centers.

As for al-Mahalla city that witnessed the hottest strike in Egypt day before yesterday, many sources stressed that the NDP candidates withdrew from the local elections in al- Mahalla al-Kubra city in favor of other candidates related to al-Wafd, Al-Ghad, Al-Jeel Parties, or others in an attempt to relief the discontent of the people there after clashes between the citizens and security forces.

A while ago, eight NDP candidates withdrew from the elections in al-Mahalla amidst expectations of other withdrawals.

Several sources stressed that the NDP leader ordered the ballot centers allover Egypt to be closed at 2 pm to begin drafting votes in favor of the NDP candidates due to poor turnout for elections. Moreover, in Damietta, Isma`iliya, and Cairo, there was no voters coming to the ballots

Posted in Reform Issues , Election Coverage , IkhwanWeb in Press  
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