Egypt’s Police State Unleashed ahead of Municipal Elections
Egypt’s Police State Unleashed ahead of Municipal Elections
Thursday, March 13,2008 16:53
By Nadine Abdullah

The Egyptian government’s fierce crackdown against the Muslim Brotherhood is getting tougher as the municipal elections of April 8 are nearing. This was  clear in the first days of nomination for the municipal elections during which many violations were committed by government and security forces to prevent Muslim Brotherhood (MB) potential candidates from submitting candidacy papers.

 

Registration commissions witnessed heavy security presence that cordoned the area to prevent potential candidates from completing the run-up measures. Officials in registration commissions received orders to lie about the amount of fees required for submitting election papers, in addition to making fake queues of pro-government thugs in front of registration offices, and even closing doors against applicants in some governorates.

 

Detentions Marred First Run-up Day

 

Tuesday March 4, the first day of submitting municipal elections papers, witnessed huge detentions among Muslim Brotherhood potential candidates in more than seven governorates without giving any real reason for those detentions.

 

When the door of nomination was opened, a number of potential candidates in the coastal  Alexandria governorate filed several complaints to the attorney general against the governorate top security official and the Criminal Evidence Department, because they didn’t allow them to get the criminal record to submit them among the papers required for candidacy.

 

Al Fayum governate turned into military barracks due to the heavy presence of police which seized a big number of nomination papers related to likely candidates and tore them in addition to arresting two MB potential candidates.

 

Arresting MB potential candidates was the landmark accross the country during the first run-up days.

 

In Monoufia Governate, police found other means to obstruct MB candidates.  It fabricated charges of possessing weapons against two Muslim Brotherhood potential candidates and arrested them while they were submitting their election papers!

 

Northern governorates of Sharqiya, Beheira and Damietta saw other bizzare hurdles against Muslim Brotherhood and independent potential candidates as most of them were prevented from submitting election papers without stating any clear reasons.

 

The NDP chooses "MoreViolations" as its slogan:

 

 

 

 

The following days of nomination saw other methods of violations  by government. Some officials in  election headquarters along with some city council chiefs cheated. Add to this the complete security control over the course of events. Also, employees in some governorates refused to receive candidacy papers except with a signature from the council chief who, eyewitnesses said, doesn’t  come except after the safe is closed, to further hinder submitting papers.

 

In another incident, police in several regions prevented MB potential candidates from completing the papers required to stand elections. When the potential candidates submitted requests to their chief prosecutor to help them receive the papers, their requests were rejected.

 

 

In the same context, judge Yousri Abdul Karim Banha, Banha court chief justice, ordered all Qalyubiyah Court officials to ignore any complaint by Muslim Brotherhood candidates to deny them the chance of nomination after the committees in charge refuse to receive their papers.

 

As usual in Egyptian elections, registration offices were full of  pro-government thugs. Potential candidates affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Wafd Party and Nasserist Party were insulted and beaten while handing in candidacy papers. 

 

Women Harrassed by Police

 

The Muslim Brotherhood announced that a significant number of MB women will run for municipal elections. This triggered a number of security harassments against some potential female candidates, specially in Alexandria, where several MB female candidates were subpoenaed to be interrogated and to meet some security leaders without stating any clear reason for this.

 

A woman was subject to insults and swear words by a police officer while security forces were raiding houses of some MB potential candidates, which made her call for her neighbour’s rescue, Ikhwanweb reporters said.

 

Other Violations

 

The violations committed in the run-up period included closing down some election headquarters for no clear reasons and closing safes in front of potential candidates in a bid to prevent them from standing elections.

 

Also security forces hanged signs reading "No Approach" in some governorates where they imposed a heavy blockade on all registration headquarters and sealed off streets leading to those headquarters.

 

 

http://ikhwanweb.com