Rights Groups: Less than 5% of Egyptians Vote in Runoff Elections

Rights Groups: Less than 5% of Egyptians Vote in Runoff Elections

 Turnout for Sunday’s parliamentary election runoffs did not exceed 5 percent, local and international human rights organizations said on Monday.
Rights groups also complained that the will of the voting public had not been respected, that the elections had lacked guarantees for being conducted in a free and fair manner, that international standards of democratic practice had not been applied, and that the elections had been held in the absence of any kind of impartial supervision after polling centers refused to allow observers who had obtained permits from the Higher Election Commission (HEC).
 
They also noted that the elections had been marred by numerous security and administrative interventions and had been largely rigged in favor of the ruling National Democratic Party, prompting the liberal opposition Al-Wafd Party and the Muslim Brotherhood to boycott the second round.
 
Monitoring the coalition, Observers Without Borders Foundation for a new world of development and human rights, in the follow-up of the voting in the first round and the run-off, has observed several negative phenomena, something that led to the loss of a historic opportunity for a quantum leap towards real democracy allowing political parties to participate in decision-making within the Egyptian parliament and the peaceful transfer of power. Such irregularities will lead to the waste of another 5 years.
 
According to the Egyptian Alliance for Monitoring Elections, which includes 123 NGOs, voter turnout in the first round of the elections did not exceed 14 percent, while this week’s run-offs saw voter turnout of less than 5 percent because of frustration and loss of confidence among voters in having fair and free polls that express the people’s will to choose their own representatives. This has largely devastated the opposition after Al-Wafd Party and the Muslim Brotherhood decided to quit the run-off.