Egypt’s NDP secures well deserved sleight of hand title during round two of poll

Egypt’s NDP secures well deserved sleight of hand title during round two of poll

After round two of Egypt’s controversial parliamentary elections the ruling National Democratic Party will undoubtedly emerge with all but a handful of the seats after the Muslim Brotherhood its strongest opposition and the Wafd Party  pulled out after alleging widespread rigging and intimidation.
According to Initial reports from independent monitors from civil society organizations despite a low turnout irregularities including mass voting and intimidation were still observed. In both rounds it appears Egypt’s ruling regime’s reputation for electoral sleight-of-hand remains well deserved.

Prior to and throughout the elections Police hindered campaigning by MB candidates denied them permits for their representatives to observe the voting process and prevented supporters from nearing the ballot boxes. Observers catalogued misdemeanors ranging from removing the names of opposition candidates from ballots, to blocking their representatives and delegates from monitoring the polls, to shutting polling stations in the face of would-be-voters, to simple stuffing of ballot boxes.

The poll appears to have produced a universally predicted resounding victory for the National Democratic Party (NDP), which has ruled Egypt for over 3 decades under a tight and undemocratic grip. The NDP competed against itself for the 114 seats left after fielding multiple candidates in many constituencies – a tactic aimed at swamping opposition voters with supporters of the ruling party and in some districts, three or more NDP candidates fought against each other, causing some of the ugliest incidents of election-day violence an interesting but sad scene for the world to see.

The electoral commission suitably however maintained that the law did not allow for candidates to withdraw at this point in the process, thereby the names of candidates who were to contest in the second round would remain on the ballot papers.
Despite the witnesses, cameras and journalists documentations   the electoral commission still insisted the violations had been limited alleging it had dealt with them by disqualifying more than a thousand ballot boxes.

It seems however that Mubarak’s regime remains undaunted and is prepared to risk damage to both its legitimacy and its international reputation, in the run up to the Presidential elections slated in 2011. It is imperative the tamest possible parliament be at hand for the smooth transition of power.

After all even the world’s strongest superpower could come  up with nothing more than it is “disappointed”