Maat Center ended yesterday the “Voter’s Voice” Project

Maat Center ended yesterday the “Voter’s Voice” Project

   Maat center ended yesterday the project of “Voter”s Vote” in a conference attended by Dr.Ali Al Deen Helal, the ex-minister of youth, a member of the Arabic Connection for Democracy, and informative trustee in the National Party. The conference was also attended by Yemeni delegation headed by Mr. Mohamed Alaedaroos, a member in the Yemeni Shora Council, and a member in the general committee of Al Moatamer Party. It was attended also by the membership of Mr. Taha ALhamadani, president of organizations committee in Yemen, Mr. Tarik ALaquaa, president of planning department, Mr. Gamal Alawadi, the executive manager of the Arabic Connection for Dmocracy, Mr. Esam Sheeha, member in the high committee of Alwafd Party, and some Arab political and juridical activists and representatives of some Embassies.


Ayman Oqeel, Administrator of Maat Center, mentioned in his opining speech that the idea of “Voter”s Vote” project, executed by the center in cooperation with the Middle Eastern Partnership Initiative (MEPI), is a try to develop means of observing elections to continue other organizations” efforts in this field. In addition, he discussed organizations” history in observing elections, notes recorded in its reports of positives and negatives, and organizations tendency to make alliances and groups to observe elections as the result of the political movement experienced in Egypt starting from 2005 and a result of the call to reform the constitution. He added that electoral process lose its task in the absence of the voter the matter that leaded “Maat” to regard it as a social observer for electoral box in a step to widen, develop, and strength  the idea of public observe. He also asserted that organizations can make use of this project in most Arab countries and it can be developed regarding to relations nature between peoples and leaders.


Oqeel mentioned that the most problems in executing the project is that some researchers are not sure about its execution and success, or that voters refuse to cooperate with researchers, or that some citizens stop to fill questionnaire forms.


Oqeel condemned the situation of Al Gazeera Channel regarding the report and its refuse to cover the conference because the report criticized it with other space channels because of their focusing on events of 6April strike without paying attention to the electoral process and reporting public participation”s area and interaction. Oqeel said that the administrator of Al Gazeera office told him that there are many question markets regarding the center so we have to boycott its activity. Oqeel described “Al Gazeera” sayings and situation of its officers as a situation against freedom of opinion and expression.


Dr. Ali El Deen Helal praised the report and said that electoral process integrity benefits the system and political parties and roots the idea of participation between citizens. He also warned form the dangerous of preparing any procedures with democratic look and neglecting confronting negative figures which affect elections, the clearest ones are political money and religious mottos.

Helal asserted in his speech, yesterday during the discussion of the center”s report, that some foreign organizations observe elections through citizens and reach real results before announcing them at the end of the electoral day. Observation of these organizations depended on the idea of observing law application before reporting violations. He also warned form the effect of scenes of using violence and thugs in Egypt on political participation, and warned from some observing organizations” politicizing for their reports and call upon them to respect rules of professional and institutional work without taking hostile situation against any one. He asserted the importance of training observers for their job at least a year before any elections mentioning that reports of National Council for Human Rights asserted that just 15% of the observers were trained to observe elections in parliament elections in 2005, the total observers were 5418 members. Helal described the method by which voters choose local candidates to be complex and show some notes about “Voter”s Vote” project final report asserting the importance of continuing the project and develop the form in the coming elections.


Mohamed Hassan Alaedaroos, member of Yemeni Shora Council and deputy of the president of the governed Yemeni party “Almoatamer”, said that “Maat”s” experiment to observe public elections through the voter is a respectable one. He also asserted that it is important to repeat it in Yemen and described it as worth to be applied in al Arabic countries. He asserted the importance of Arabic united work to widen the base of public participation and to release national organizations to work in serious social work.


In the speech of Mr. Gamal al Awaady, he asserted that “Voter”s

Vote” is a democratic invention and that it is important to spread culture of democracy in the Arab world.


Mr. Taha Alhamadani asserted that “Voter”s Vote” helps to support lections” integrity and transparency and reflects democracy in the Egyptian society through the participation of civil society in electoral process. He also object the report name for the word “secret” because there is no secret and because now we are in an age characterized by transparency, and participation of all sides. He added that the general public conference in Yemen will pay attention to this experience to make use of it especially because there is an elections in Yemen in the coming April.


In his speech Mr. Tarik Alaquaa mentioned that reports results pointed out that affects on electoral process make its results known, and that elections did not do any thing, and that the center as it invites and suggests many initiatives and means to develop the electoral process so it has to find practical solutions, certain and precise  recommends for parties and organizations of civil society to develop electoral process in Egypt.


In his speech, Mr. Esam Sheeha asserted that the project tries to reach the voter because he is the pillar of the electoral process, and gives the civil society organizations the chance to observe and accused generally the administrative body that manage elections. He added that he is pleased because administrative bodies criticize organizations of civil society in observing elections which give us the chance of self-criticism which may enhance electoral process and develop it. He explained that the project contains big effort so we are enabled to know week and strong points in elections through it; also the project tries to reach the voter through questionnaire forms which he answered while he always feel that he has no role or real vote in elections.


Maat observe elections through 9400 voter and 1430 social researchers trained in 19 governorates to observe 94 electoral committees.


Mr. Abd Al Naser Qandeel the project”s manager discussed study”s results, the clearest characteristic of the report was reporting citizens” cooperation with the researchers: the high rate was in Cairo 1690 forms while the minor rate was in Kafr Al Sheekh 189 forms, the participating sample from 30 years old to 39 years old represented the major age with the percentage of 38.7%, while the ages from 18years old to 29 years old were 21.2%. Men percentage in participation was 73.4%.National Party overwhelmed the propaganda process in front of committees, in Bor Saeed it achieved the percentage of 99.6%, in Aswan 99.5%, in Alswees 99%, in Kafr Al Sheehk 97.4%. It shows that executive authorities did not have a united strategy in dealing with electoral propaganda.


The most important results and notes of the report was that religious mottos were completely absent from elections because Muslim Brothers did not participate in the elections and because the government incriminated using such mottos, the raising of tribal family conflicts on the account of the political party ones, 43% of the voters did know to whom they gave their voice, 65% of the voters did not know the majority of candidates, the decrease of the percentage of those who participated in elections although 75% of them announced that they will repeat their participation, 78% of voters welcomed women candidacy, 96% of voters were asked to use their identification card in voting, the retreat of the phenomenon of purchasing voices, and security domination of 83.4% of committees and electoral headquarters without interfering in the electoral process.


You can read the report on the center”s web site or call the center”s administration to get a copy of the report.