Voting Ends in Bloody Parliamentary Elections in Egypt
|Monday, November 29,2010 01:50|
Polling stations opened at 8:00 am (0600D GMT) but the pervasive presence of thugs began at 6: 00 am. Low turnout, clashes, electoral irregularities and vote rigging marked the country's parliamentary election. The vast majority of opposition candidates and their delegates were beaten, and forcibly prevented from entering polling centres to monitor voting.
Egyptian monitors said election fraud like ballot stuffing were rife and evident since the early morning and from the start of voting on Sunday.
A number of violent incidents occurred despite the increased deployment of security forces, including the killing of the son of an independent candidate in Cairo's Matariya district. The death toll in clashes during the polls in the Egyptian governorates of Sinai, Menoufiya, Talkha, Tanta, Qaliubiya, Wadi El-Natron, Beni Suef, and Assiut reached 12.
Police used tear gas shells and opened fire to disperse the crowds that gathered in Burg Al-Burullus as thugs came carrying swords, knives, swords, sticks, and fire bombs, attacking voters standing outside centers across the country while security forces simply watched. Founder of the Karama Party, Hamdeen Sabahi, and MB candidate for Oseem, Mahmoud Amer, withdrew from the elections.
A large number of MB candidates were subjected to physical and verbal assault, notably Sobhi Saleh. There was also a report of supporters of a National Democratic Party candidate opening fire on MB candidate for Abu Tig, Beni Suef, Abdul Latif Khedr, killing one person, and injuring dozens. Sounds of gunfire were heard from an unidentified jeep in Qena.
"Supporters of a National Democratic Party candidate and supporters of an independent candidate exchanged gunfire in an area south of Cairo," sources said.
In Suez, journalist, Aya El Feky, and members of an Al-Jazeera news crew have been subjected to severe beatings and their cameras have been confiscated. Wounded journalists were denied hospital treatment, and Al-Masry Al-Youm, and Masrawy were blocked.
The Egyptian government cracked down today on websites of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood as they were blocked by Egyptian Internet companies in an attempt to hinder the monitoring of electoral violations.
Ballot boxes were mostly non-transparent and transported from polling stations by private cars to unknown destinations, or to police headquarters in preparation for the count that will begin tonight.