Rising on Women’s Bodies, Women in the 2005 Parliamentary Election
Advancing women’s rights can only be achieved if all issues at stake are taken into account, including freedom of speech and the right to vote. It is difficult to conceive of achieving tangible advances without putting these at the forefront of the women’s rights agenda along with the issues of poverty and illiteracy, other impediments to women’s equality making them easy targets during the parliamentary elections of 2005.
The Egyptian Center for Women”s Rights
Rising on Women”s Bodies
Women in the 2005 Parliamentary Election
Advancing women’s rights can only be achieved if all issues at stake are taken into account, including freedom of speech and the right to vote. It is difficult to conceive of achieving tangible advances without putting these at the forefront of the women’s rights agenda along with the issues of poverty and illiteracy, other impediments to women’s equality making them easy targets during the parliamentary elections of 2005.
Soa”ad Tea”alp, the first woman martyr in the parliamentary election, died at the beginning of the election as she was run over by a car. Her attitude was reported as the reason.
Throughout the last century, women”s right to vote has remained impaired during parliamentary elections. Women were denied the right to vote during the revolution era, although they actively participated in the struggle and were among the martyrs. Furthermore, women’s participation was barely acknowledged during the codification of political rights during the revolution. In other words, women’s political participation was rare and for the most part they were absent from the political arena.
Women didn”t obtain their right to vote until after the Revolution through the constitutional amendments of 1956. However, this change remained minimal since the amendments did not include concerted efforts to increase women”s participation in the electoral process at all levels.
During the decolonization and civic movements, women”s participation was always necessary and considered as an important factor. Women were asked to participate in the struggle for independence and they showed a strong spirit of self-sacrifice. Many were among the victims in the struggle for liberation, but once the goal was achieved, they had to face an extremely harsh situation in their fight to secure the political rights of their people and family, due to the unemployment that followed. So the victory did not translate into anything for women and they became overshadowed by other issues. Today’s political marginalization of women comes from the original institutions which failed to include them in the decision making processes and severely restricted their representation.
Women’s representation in the legislature has ranged from 0.5% to 2.4% since women were first granted their political rights in the 1956 constitution which allowed them seats in the parliament until the last legislative elections in the year 2000. The only exception was during the first half of the 1980s, when female representation rose to the unprecedented level of 9% in the 1979 council election, due to Law 21 (1979) that reserved a minimum of 30 seats for women.
Although Law 21 was later abolished by Law 188 (1986), female representation remained high because of the use of a party list system. When resolution 201 (1990) was passed, the party lists were abolished and replaced by individual elections, restricting women’s access to the parliament by forcing them to directly compete with their male counterparts.
The parliamentary elections of 2005 seemed very different; they happened in the midst of national political reforms that gave hope for a revitalization of Egyptian political life and fair elections. One feature was the participation of 21 political parties. And for the first time the religious factions revealed their true colors through representative of Brotherhood Muslim Party.
Another feature of these elections is that the civil and human rights organizations insisted on monitoring of the elections. This had been granted ten years earlier during the struggles that stemmed from the 1995 elections
Another familiar aspect that was recorded during these elections was the use of transparent ballot boxes, finger ink, judicial supervision, use of identity cards for voting and neglecting statements made by witnesses. This widespread optimism that the elections generated was short-lived and many insist upon calling the next parliamentary elections the ‘future elections.’
Nonetheless, this fostered optimistic reactions among women, particularly when the media repeatedly approached the issue of their involvement in the process. In turn, it led to a law proposal, guarantying an additional 26 seats for women (one per governorate) in the parliament. This bill was submitted to the Ministry of Justice for review. Although this proposal does not tally women’s votes, which reached 40%, it fails to representatively express what this number stands for on the population percentage. This number may, at least, correspond to the minimal level of women”s participation without the endorsement of the law.
Furthermore, the National Democratic Party pledged to nominate 26 women and support their political participation, emphasized their role during the presidential elections and promoted the women’s movement and the National Council for Women.
The political parties committed themselves, during a meeting held last year by the ECWR along with the Arab Alliance for Women, to promote women’s participation by appointing a representative proportional to the number of women on the lists. They also vowed to work with the women representatives that represent 25% of the El Tagamoa”a party list Master Hussein AbdEl Razek to ensure safe electoral processes shortly before the election, at a conference held by the National Council for Women.
The number of women representative appointed remained very low:
However, in the end, only six women were nominated by the National Democratic Party (NDP) out of their 444 candidates. The national opposition, consisting of 22 political parties and movements nominated just 7 women from 222 candidates. Three women ran under the El Ghad and El Karama Parties, one ran for the Muslim Brotherhood, and 111 women ran as independent candidates. Though the political parties failed to deliver on their promises, Egyptian citizens retained hope that the election would be fair enough to achieve a representative parliamentary election and a beginning to true political reform. The results for women were therefore a shock when only 4 women won seats. Women were extensively used as tools in widespread acts of electoral fraud.
Although the political parties came back on their word, the recent developments on the Egyptian political scene remained the first step toward achieving a real political reform during the parliamentary elections. However, the results shockingly remained disappointing as only 4 women were elected. It is believed that the parties used women during the elections of 2005 to gain more votes.
ECWR has therefore compiled this report documenting with accurate facts with a view to become a reliable source for further research and to endeavour to change the view of what really happened, as well as advance towards better participation of women.
This report is divided into two parts:
· Using women for their votes
· Women candidates
· Monitoring reports
· Demands of the women”s movement and its pledge
· ECWR’s plan for monitoring
· Reports from districts in which women ran
· Names and electoral districts of all women candidates
· Using women for their votes
· Women candidates
· Monitoring reports
· Demands of the women”s movement and its pledge
Using women for their votes
The 2005 referendum on article 76 of the Egyptian constitution stipulated that the president was to be directly elected by the people for the first time, rather than by a 2/3 majority of the parliament, paving the way for a new electoral framework in which women were declared to play a key role. However, it was obvious during the elections that no monitoring mechanism was in place and many violations were reported at polling stations. In addition, if women’s votes were so important during this election, then why were no female candidates elected to the parliament and why weren’t women’s issues addressed?
Clearly, the lack of women’s substantive participation stems from the authorities’ failure to prioritize women’s political participation or opinions. Public policies in the past have only served to further weaken women’s position, and contribute to higher illiteracy and impoverishment, making them vulnerable to increased discrimination. The situation has not changed – women’s issues are not a source of concern to politicians and their participation in the political arena remains off the agenda. This is the reason women became an important tool for gathering more votes during the 2005 parliamentary elections, reminding us of the Algerian experience in which women surrendered their rights without being aware.
When they first attempted to exercise their political empowerment to voice their opinion on changing Article 76 of the Constitution, peacefully demonstrating women were subject to sexual harassment in front of journalist syndicate. Expressing their “new concept of political women”s empowerment,” Farkhanda Hassan, General Secretary of The National Council for Women, declared no responsibility because “women who demonstrated were expressing their opinions on the general interest of this country, not specifically on women”s rights.”
The NCW saw that women were targets for sexual harassment while peacefully demonstrating during the referendum campaign. Their right to expression of opinion, can obviously not be fulfilled without women’s rights and security being addressed. The media too have been repeating a message of women’s political empowerment, but have yet failed to show real support when necessary, even attacking and condemning women’s participation. And despite these atrocities and the international scandal they provoked, the Attorney General has not yet declared the results of the investigation, betraying the way women’s issues are handled.
In the presidential election of September 2005, women were systematically used to gather more votes among the different governorates. National Democratic Party (NDP) representatives carried out the pledges of their leaders to guarantee that women would have their place in the electoral process, as promised by the president, which ensured minimal representation for women in the local councils through appointments. Unfortunately, this was made into a mockery. Instead women were used for their votes through coercion and intimidation during the parliamentary elections by the NDP and other political groups.
The political power granted to women candidates remained very limited, not enabling them to compete effectively for parliamentary seats and reducing their participation to a token gesture during the elections and within other institutional structures. Although political parties always mention women’s rights as a priority on their agenda, it remains nonexistent in reality.
The El Wafd party had only two women out of 40 members, representing 5% of the party; only 4.6% of the 64 members of the General Secretariat of El Tagamoa”a were women; the Naserist party had only two women were in the Central Committee, or 2.7%.
Of course, this meant that women did not have a voice in the decision-making about the elections, in developing the political campaign or in contributing to the parties’ results. Political leaders disregarded women’s potential contributions, as well as the high number of votes they could have gained from female constituencies. The women candidates who were nominated were only a token, rather than true representation of women.
Only six women were nominated by the NDP out of their 444 candidates; the opposition of 22 political parties and movements only appointed 7 women from their 222 candidates; three women were nominated by the El Ghad and the El Karama Parties, the Muslim Brotherhood party ‘embellished’ its lists by appointing one woman candidate as a gesture and 111 independent candidates ran for seats in the election. Before the parliamentary elections began, there was a sense of optimism that the political parties would find support, and that there wouldn”t be violent confrontations in the election districts.
The women were subjected to wild campaigns which prevented certain people from voting, the political parties and the government were unsupportive of women and also abused the traditional tribal values and twisted them as a means to discriminate against them, and those supporting them, there was a case of killing like Soa”d Tealab the female candidate in El Sharkaya, and the use of death threats and the use of acid to deform women’s faces and other forms of violence and sexual harassment.
This was amplified by the fact that the women nominated were not strong candidates, which lead to more weakness in their position, just 4 female candidates won in the parliamentary elections, this had never before happened in the Egyptian parliament.
Women were gathered in huge numbers and used for voting, this was easy to do in light of the economic recession, and some women viewed it as opportunity to obtain some financial aid.
And so they were used as tool to help fuel the election campaigns without them gaining any real advantage, this trend towards some women giving up there voting right is a very negative one as it will lead to women losing what little rights they actually have at present.
Female thugs were widely used to sabotage the election process, and obstruct the female supporters of competitors also sexual harassment and the spreading of fear and terror among the female voters. This exposed the reality of the parliamentary elections. Although these events came as a surprise to most people, if we look more closely, we will discover that there are still a lot of hidden facts, because of the lack of transparency, lack of dialogue, coalitions and unlawful pacts. This reflects the nearsightedness of all that has taken place, as the government had not been looking to the future at all. Since the talk of political reform began, Egypt seems to have taken on a vitality that didn”t exist before. Everyone these days is concerned with the political reform and the new agenda of the parliamentary elections, but the parties based their strategies on the corrupt reality of the political scene and accordingly employed the techniques.
The National Democratic Party “is considered a party without ideology, where all the members are gathered for their own personal interests”:
The members of the NDP were chosen based on criteria such as wealth and family power, so it didn”t have much to do with the elections or party’s agenda, it ignored the reform plans, new thought and the presidential election program, the declaration of Mohamed Ragab “the representative of NDP in the National council for Women conference that include nominating one woman from each governorate total 26 women as well as the trust of women all of that were thrown in nearest wastepaper basket. That was very clear in the NDP nominations for women, only 6 women were nominated from 444 candidates, so it reduced the nomination approximately the half in 2000, it was nominated 11 women candidates.
The General Secretary for Women in the NDP “Moa”amna Kamel” said “the support given by the NDP for their candidate Hawa”a was minimal… In Cairo the NDP nominated Fayda Kamel and Thuraya Labna… and in El Minya Fayza El Ahnawy and Eman Abdel Hakeem …..And in Giza Dr. Amal Osman and Fayza El Zomer.” In fact we didn”t expect this number, we expected a much bigger number, because women played a great role in the vote on the referendum of Article 76 of the constitution. During the presidential election around one and half million women from 6 million total voters voted and there were many women who had identity cards and election cards. It was surprising, that they didn’t give women a chance to enter the elections and local council! Why didn”t they reserve seats for women to help them enter this battlefield, was there a realistic chance for women to win? Is it reasonable that only 6 women were nominated by the NDP from 89 women, three who spent more than 20 years in political life two who won in the last election, and one new face? This didn”t happen just in the NDP but with all political parties, but the shock was from the National Democratic Party which was supposed to express and interpret the president words and his concerns of women in the community and involved them in the political life.
Even parties which consistently attack the NDP both openly and covertly chose to employ the same methods, depending on the influence of money and the twisting of tribal values to defeat women candidates. Seven women were nominated, then three were added as representatives of the El Ghad and El Karama parties. This is a clear difference from 22 women candidates nominated by the opposition parties in 2000, posing an important question – does the opposition agree to political reform or to also attack women”s participation?!!!
In addition, the opposition nominated women candidates only as gestures, without real support. We observed that the parties nominated women in districts with strong candidates, where it was very difficult to win. Examples include the female candidate for El Karama, Mona Foa”ad, who ran in Souhag governorate, and the two female candidates for El Ghad, Bothaina Zakarya and Nagat Mohammed, who ran in Bani Swef. Two female candidate out of four ran in Bani Swif and Asyut: Aza Ez-Eldeen and Sanaa Mohammed. El Wafd Party nominated Hagar Ahmed in Kana governorate and Mona Abd El Moaty in The Red Sea.
This was an indication that all the ideals and principles were put aside for several months until the elections ended safely. With this, the issue of marginalized groups such as women became reduced to a mere trivial matter, or to flattering statements on the importance of the role of women as mothers, sisters, and great home makers.
In the conference held by the National Council for Women with the leaders of the political parties before the election to promise the public that a reasonable number of women will be nominated.
And so the parties’ representatives especially from the opposition declared the following:
AbdEl Ghafar Shokr: El Tagamoa”a “To nominate 10 women”
Ahmed El Sabahy: El Omma Party “To nominate 10 women”
Nagy El Shahaby: El Geil Party “To nominate two Women”
Ahmed AbdEl Hady: Shebab MisrParty “To nominate women”
AbdEl Hakeem El Gamel: Misr Al Fata Party “To nominate women”
Ahmed Hasan: El Nasery Party Refused the principle of reserving seats for politically marginalized groups; at a time when the party was fighting to reserve half of the parliamentary seats for labors and peasants (!)
The circumstances and the number of available seats forced women to be set aside just like the aforementioned ideals and principles were, opposition parties based their programs, on unconventional views, to create the impression that voters have diverse choices to choose from, and that by voting they would be contributing to improving the political life in Egypt and to getting it back on the right track, and that if they didn’t vote they would only have themselves to blame.
Despite this all the political parties gave in to the corrupt notion of reserving seats and abandoning their principles. Women were naturally the first to be sacrificed and victimized, so the nominees were weak, with even weaker results. All the political parties (including the Muslim Brotherhood) played the election game using sly dishonest methods.
For these reasons voters made their choices as follows:
The National Democratic Party: Egyptians have long suffered and endured the consequences of their failed policies and oppression, and so they deserved a harsh defeat, but their nominees seemed to be the better candidates in the absence of better alternatives.
The independents: who entered the party after the 2000 election, betrayed the trust of the voters, because people thought that their independence meant they were trustworthy, and so they received severe blows in spite of the good performance of some of their candidates and the hard work directed towards presenting services in their districts”, for example, Fayza El Tahnawy’s, good performance was going to be worthless simply because she joined the NDP, she was only chosen in the end because of her independence. So all candidates should learn a lesson from this, that joining the NDP could infact hurt their chances rather than be a short cut to parliament.
The opposition parties: The opposition party presented a group of nearly identical candidates, that used the same old corrupt techniques of using ethnic tensions to his benefit, and didn”t present any different original views that they can use to compete, instead they fought for district domination, and it was rumored that they coordinated with the NDP, so they lost the voters’ trust, which led voters to prefer the 50LE price for their vote instead, they thought that taking the money was better than nothing at all.
Muslim Brotherhood: They reaped the product of many years of patient suffering as a result of torture, arrests, investigations and unemployment without legal protection. The party was not allowed free movement or political participation, but nothing was able to stop them. Their success seemed to carry feelings of silent revenge against the National Democratic party whose economic polices had long made the poor become poorer and women”s illiteracy more tragic. Because all the parties were only interested in winning seats but not in improving Egypt’s future. Issues relating to equality, justice and reserving seats for women were abandoned. In the end, all that remained was sense of hatred on the streets towards women, and a general feeling that women will take over public life and exclude men one day.
The Human Development Reports addressed the future of the region and the absence of women from the decision making process, but it was useless because winning seats was more important than truly caring about the future of political life in Egypt, so the seats were lost and so were women’s rights as well.
The Status of Women: No party supports women or is willing to spend money on them. Except for the very few women”s organizations supporting women’s political participation but they have limited capabilities and are under constant pressure from the security forces.
The National Council for Women (NCW): is considered part of the NDP, as the NDP itself claims on its website, and its Women”s Secretariat copies international NGO projects, but then they obstruct these projects from being truly implemented to avoid having to truly support women or putting the government under pressure. The NCW concentrates on supporting the NDP by issuing ID and voting cards for many women during times when the media is focusing on women”s rights issue. However, what is said about the advancement of women is different from what ends up being actually implemented.
This reflects Dr. Farkhanda Hassan’s standpoint as the General Secretary of the National Council for Women and the Chief of the local development committee in El Shoura Council, when she expressed her shock towards the political party leaders whom decided to remove women from their nomination lists for the parliamentary elections. Dr. Hassan responded to the accusations of the National Council for Women by saying that the NCW had a role in raising awareness about political participation for women, it held 106 meetings and seminars, 447 women participated from different political parties and movements, not only women from the National Democratic party participated like some people imagined because the Council for Egyptian Women also hoped that the constitutional amendment for parliament during the upcoming period would entail reserving seats for women in parliament. This change wasn’t just in Egypt but 81 other countries applied it as well. If Egypt applies it, it will lead to the effective participation of women in the political and social life in Egypt.
“Role exchange” can describe how those who are concerned with the political participation of women function, The National Council for Women role is to influence and group together the main players in the women”s movement and coordinate their efforts, but they get side tracked with administrative work to hold trainings and to prepare women for political participation, but this isn”t really its role, this is the role of women”s organizations.
Although women”s organization are limited and are subjected to pressure from state security, they realized they had to work with the political parties and hold meetings with them and establish communication with them, and present suggestions for new laws.
Only 4 women won in the parliamentary elections, they were among those who competed, bought voices and won in the smoke and Tear Gas fights.
ECWR monitored all of the women”s districts in the parliamentary elections during the three phases in the 86 election districts, and the 127 female candidates, there were 13 female candidates nominated by the political parties and one female candidate by the Muslim brotherhood, and 114 independent female candidates as the following:
First Phase: There were 28 districts that had female candidates in 8 governorates: Cairo, Giza, Bani-Swif, Asuwt, Marsa Matrouh, El Minya, The New Village, and El Monfaya. There were 6 women nominated from the NDP, 7 from the National Group for Change from different political parties and movements, and the independent female candidates.
Second Phase: There were 33 districts that had females in 10 governorates: Alexandria, El Behara, El Gharbaya, El Esmalya, Suez, Pour Said, Qena, El Aqsour, El Qalybaya, El Fayom. There were 50 female candidates running in the elections, one from El Wafd Party and one from El Oma”a party and the rest were independents.
Third Phase: There were 25 districts that had female candidates in 7 governorates: Souhag, the Red Sea, Kafewr El Shakh, El Dakahlaya, El Sharkaya, North Sinai, Domyat. 35 female candidates ran, one from El Wafd Party and one from El Karama party and the rest as independents.
ECWR monitored the election in the female candidates” districts, from all angles under the framework of ECWR’s vision with respect to monitoring which includes the social and political environment and the general political climate surrounding the elections, the ECWR’s monitors addressed gender issues and the importance of observing the women”s participation in the voting process, the experience of female candidates, problems or obstacles they met and if the elections had negative and positive effects on women”s participation?
ECWR found the following results from their observations:
Emulation of political reform: Democratic progress in return for reserving seats in parliament and the continued marginalization of certain groups especially women.
Use of tribal values against the female candidates by harassing and attacking election campaign representatives and assistants, as well as voters, for supporting women instead of men and accusing them of disintegrating traditional values, so as to obstruct the support of female candidates.
Using violence and death threats and the deforming of women’s faces: Terrorizing and spreading fear among the female candidates and using violence as well as death threats, in other words they were forcing female candidates and their supporters and steering them towards nomination of the NDP candidates.
Use of different forms of sexual harassment, for removing women either by deforming them or through sexual harassment in front of the polling stations.
Exploiting the poverty of female voters, by paying bribes to the female voters in exchange for their votes especially the votes of poor women, house-wives and illiterate women, they concentrated their efforts on these women because their voting price was cheaper than men, the price of voting for women was 20 LE, while for men 150 LE.
Use of female thugs, to cause problems and start fights to terrorize and scare the voters and make the judges close the polling stations. Money, bribes and corruption was used in gathering the voters for specific candidates whether from the National Democratic Party or other opposition parties or independent candidates. There were mistakes in the election lists of voter”s names, there were similarities in names and there were other miscellaneous mistakes concerning the names in addition to having voters vote more than once which was possible because of the many similar names.
The administrative interventions: use of public funds and government employees for presenting services to NDP candidates.
The negative role of the security forces in the first phase and the dangerous abuses in the second and third phases, neutrality was transcended and reached the point of anarchy in some polling places, as the security forces failed to protect both the voters and the candidates. The security did not face the threat against female candidates and one woman was even shot, they didn’t protect female voters from being assaulted and sexually harassed during the first phase. While in the third phase, the security interfered to stop the election process and prevent the voters from entering the poll stations.
Demands of the women’s movement and our pledges:
ECWR and the Women”s Forum for Change demand the following
That President Mubarak, Egypt”s first elected president, carry out the following:
· Implement the promises entailed in his election program ensuring a minimum number of seats for women, by requiring that at least 2/3 of women be elected.
· Change the law governing political rights and elections to implement a Quota system to ensure that a minimum number of parliamentary seats (30%) for women in the election will be met.
That the attorney general publish the results of the investigations relating to the abuses that occurred on May 25th and the events that happened after that, and to investigate the abuses and violence that took place during the parliamentary elections.
That the political authorities allow women and women’s organizations actual participation (not just symbolic), in the dialogue concerning the future of democracy in Egypt and the legal and political reform, by what insure the expression about the women”s requests and their opinions in the general issues, and working together to save Egypt.
ECWR pledges to cooperate with the women”s organizations to work on:
1. Changing the political parties’ law and declare that there will be privileges for the political parties that have better female representation.
2. Liberating NGOs from the raised level of guardianship and interference in its affairs so it can practice its work freely for increasing women”s participation.
3. Starting subjective evaluation of the previous efforts, and the analysis of the political environment, and its effects on women”s participation and to evaluate the performance and the results of the National Council for Women.
4. Bring legislative change that ensures women will exercise their rights.
5. Having the media Monitor the abuses against women, and push for changing the media’s policy towards covering the struggle for women”s rights.
6. Establishing that the parliament needs to address women”s issues on it’s agenda.
Therefore we must:
– Participate in the discussion for the constitutional amendments and study the specific requests for women and the means needed to achieve it, so that the political rise of the Muslim Brotherhood Party doesn”t lead to the abandoning of women”s rights and the spread of ideas that are not in favor of female candidates “Makarm El Deary” in the election such as ” women are mothers”
– Struggle to change the Political Rights Law, to include in the Quota system and make sure to include women as 30% of their total list of nominated candidates.
– Struggle to change the law governing the political parties through encouraging the political parties that have a high percentage of female representatives by giving these parties public financial aid to support them.
– Seriously study the reserving of seats for women and to legislate a new law for that.
– Struggle towards making NGOs have more freedom by canceling restrictions enforced by the Ministry of social affairs and the state security from it in order for them to be able to practice their activities freely.
– Struggling against the ideas that harm democracy which have lead to a rise in the Muslim Brotherhood party. Establish the fact that the absence of democracy is the reason for the decline in Egyptian political life. So the reason behind the Muslim Brotherhood Party being chosen was because there weren’t any other respectable alternatives. It is necessary for the reform movements to work together and communicate more, and make sure that their respective agendas include points on women’s political empowerment. As democracy alone will not lead to women”s participation.
This will not happen except through real pressure campaigns, using tools such as:
· Evaluating previous efforts and analyzing the political environment and its effects on women”s participation, as well as evaluating their performance and the results of NCW activities and mechanisms.
· Coordinating between the NCW and other women”s organizations as partners working for just media objectives.
· Forming political and legal committees to study the laws from a critical gender perspective to work on removing discrimination against women in laws and practices.
· Forming committees to draft alternative laws, which can be debated seriously in discussion tables rather than media conferences.
· Coordinating women’s groups to present drafts of laws in press conferences for political parties, especially the NDP and Muslim Brotherhood, and request that serious procedures be taken.
· Coordinating with parliament members to discuss the drafts of alternatives laws.
· Organizing demonstrations in coordination with other reform movements to request from the parliament to respond to women”s requests.
· Include television programs in the media plans that are prepared and presented by journalists who understand the political process, instead of programs prepared and presented by television personnel that have no idea about women’s issues.
· Raise awareness about the importance of women”s participation through holding roundtable discussions with women at places that are known to have lots of women attending, so as to reach many of them.
· Present simple publications that make links between women”s participation and democratic progress and freedom in Egypt.
· ECWR’s plan for monitoring
· Reports from districts in which women ran
· Names and electoral districts of all women candidates
ECWR”s plan for monitoring
During this complicated stage, the ECWR prepared for the parliamentary elections by coordinating with the NGO Coalition to Monitor the Election, which trained 1600 local observers in 14 governorates to monitor the elections at the three levels in 26 governorates.
The women”s rights organizations were present on Referendum Day and witnessed the abuses against women, it was very clear that the security forces harassed the female journalists, lawyers, activists. These organizations are necessary for improving women’s political participation and are integral to building a community that is going through a democratic transition phase.
Therefore, the ECWR decided to cooperate with women”s organizations that advocate like the Women”s Forum for Change, which includes: the Arab Alliance for Women, New Women Research Center and ECWR.
ECWR’s plan for monitoring the parliamentary election depended on two things:
1) Volunteers: ECWR’s volunteers opened a hotline for receiving complaints and information relating to the women”s election campaigns. 55 activists were trained to serve in the operation room at ECWR during all the phases of the election and publish press releases and reports related to women”s participation in the elections and the challenges that confront women, and to spread the ideas that political involvement is for both men and women. In addition, 1400 observers were trained with cooperation from the coalition of NGOs.
2) The female candidates and their staffs: ECWR trained female candidates for the 2005 parliamentary elections as follows:
– The first training was held from December 30, 2004 to October 3, 2005. 30 female candidates attended from Esmaliya, Alexandria, Giza, Cairo, El Minya, Port Said and North Sinai, and addressed the following topics: managing the election campaign, communication and negotiations skills, preparing an executive plan, preparing a media plan, how to manage difficult people.
– Training for the female candidates’ staff was held on October 30th, 2005, for 10 female candidates and their staff, which included 6 members for each candidate from Souhag, Esmalaya, Aswan, El Fayom, the Red Sea, Qana, Alexandria and El Qalybaya. The training addressed: managing the campaign, assistant staff skills, communication skills, how to confront problems on voting day, practical training for election day.
– Training female candidates for the second and third phase from November 10 to 11, 2005. 35 female candidates from Qana, El Fayom, El Kaalybaya, El Esmalya, El O”ksor, Alexandria, El Sharkaya, The Red Sea and Souhag attended. The training addressed the following topics: managing the election campaign, communication skills, presentation skills, assistant staff skills and the role of the assistant staff in organizing the campaign, and how to make the election program a success
Reports from districts in which women ran
The report lists the abuses that occurred, focusing on important districts.
1. Threatening and terrorizing women candidates and the exploitation of women
Women”s polling stations witnessed a lot of violence, which took on many forms including threats to female candidates, deformation of their faces, and one being shot, and also the supporters of female candidates and their families were subjected to physical violence, not to mention that women were exploited in the voting process through encouraging them to vote for certain candidates and paid to instigate fights and disputes among the female candidates, while women were used in other polling stations for monitoring the female voters during the voting process, in addition to persuading poor women with money as a way of gathering a large number of votes for the NDP candidates.
In the Embaba District the female candidate Nashwa El Deeb, was shot by the NDP candidate. In El Khalifa District, O”lafat Abd El Badeea El Arabi was threatened that they would deform her face. In Abdeen, the representative of El Ghad party was assaulted and thrown out of the polling station and the voters supporting her were threatened by the supporters of the NDP candidate. In Shoubra, the candidate was Mona Makram Ebeed, and women and girls were forced by the NDP candidate to dance and sing in front of polling places to attract the voters. In Bab El Sharaya, the female candidate of El Ghad party was assaulted in the polling place at El Shorfa School. She filed a report at the police station in the same district. Two women from El Ghad Party guided voters and encouraged them to vote for the female candidate of El Ghad party in front of Khalil Agha School. In Dar El Salam and El Basateen inside Gamal Abdel Naser School, election cards were collected for voting instead of having the voters vote for themselves.
In El Khalifa District, where the candidates were Karima Awad and Fayda Kamel, the women were gathered in front of the polling stations for dancing and drums to promote the NDP candidate, and the women were used to create disputes in order to boost voting for the NDP candidate. In Shoubra, at polling station number 10, the women employees of the rail company were gathered collectively to vote for the NDP candidate.
In Nasr City, women were assembled and asked to wear shirts with the NDP candidate’s name, and the nurses of Cairo Hospital in Wahba were placed on a bus number 32880 and voted 30 times. In El Manial District, money was also distributed to lure voters as well as financial vouchers ranging from 50-100LE. Students at the institutes were also given financial cards as bribes.
Supporters of the NDP shot female candidate Ashaia Hamed Mohmmed of the Independence Group. Labor candidate Rood El Farag and her supporters were also assaulted and her banners were shredded.
In Misr El Kadima, El Salam, the female candidate Hanan El Saeddi of the Independence Group reported that polling station 69, Amer Ebn El Ase, had two polling sites for women. Candidates for the NDP, El Wafd, and some of the independent candidates gathered women and gave them anywhere from 30 to 150 LE for their votes.
Supporters of the NDP at the Manshiat El Serg School shot gunfire, which resulted in one person being injured which spread fear among the rest of the voters. In addition, many women were gathered outside to make defamatory remarks about some of the candidates.
Microbuses (numbers 14721- 72495- 36109) were used to transfer women to polling stations in Heliopolis to vote for women candidates of the NDP. While female supporters of the independent female candidate Makarem El Derry were prevented from voting at polling station 70 in Heliopolis under the pretext that there were scheduling mistakes and that the names of certain candidates did not exist.
In the runoff:
40 women were brought into El Khalifa District carrying microphones, and dancing to attract voters. Additionally, women were brought in on microbus no. 150872 and in a Jeep Cherokee No. 575048, blaring sirens and frightening voters into believing that the NDP candidate had police protection.
Rumors were spread and the exploitation of both women and men were used to obtain votes. A false announcement was made in El Khalifa District on the day of the election that the NDP candidate had won the parliamentary vote in an attempt to sway supporters of the non-NDP candidates, and fool them in to thinking that their votes were already useless. The NDP candidate made use of a DJ to rally his supporters with the slogan “Why are you still here? You should go home!” Meaning, that there is no hope for anyone but the NDP to win.
Transportation of voters to the polling stations from various governorates in Egypt continued and was used for the specific purpose of obtaining their votes. Buses used to transport these individuals had numbers 1086 and 535 from Menoufiya, number 17 from Beni Suef, Dahab Company tourism bus number 32880 was used to carry nurses from the Cairo Specialist Hospital, as well as microbus number 13999 used to bring voters from Gharbiya to polling station 6 in Nasr City District to support the NDP candidate.
The ECWR hotline in Nasr City District also filed a complaint for the campaign representative of female candidate Dr. Makarm El Derey as they discovered a voter with two ballots, one for Menoufiya and the other for Nasr City. The judge for the polling station refused to issue a report on the incident and instead decided to destroy one of the voter’s two ballots. Moreover, the female candidate’s representative was accused of impersonating a police official.
In Marsa Matroh, the first District, female candidate Nema”a Esmail of the Independence Group reported that women were gathered inside Matrouh bus number 8 where their election cards were collected and they were promised money in exchange for their votes for the NDP candidate. Following the vote, these women did not receive the money promised to them, which led to heated verbal exchanges and physical violence where women were beaten. In District (1), polling stations No (11, 18), women were collected from their homes and given 150LE to vote for the NDP candidate. At polling station No (21, 22), the Independent and NDP candidates urged voters not to vote for women in Quran Saving School, Matrouh.
Around 80 women were gathered from the villages to the voting places for the NDP candidates in trip bus no 8, and Matrouh cars no 3974, 328. They voted in polling station no 16, 17 and 18 and they were promised 150 LE by the NDP candidate supporters and representatives, but they didn”t give them the money, which led to fights between them and the women.
In El Minya, El Adwai District, the female candidate Eman Abd El Hakeem, reported to ECWR that there weren”t polling stations exclusive to women. Polling sites, such as El Adwi secondary industrial school, were accessible to all, in opposition with the traditions of the governorate. The threat of harassment prevented many women from leaving their homes to vote.
Women were transferred in buses no 2755 to vote for the NDP candidate in polling station no 33 Bander El Minya. In El Adwa District, women were gathered for voting for NDP candidate in many buses.
In the runoff, El Adwai District, women were gathered to vote for the NDP candidate in many cars.
In the Suez Police Station District 1, where the candidate was Hala Said, her ballot number was changed from 28 to 27. She filed a report (#4565) in the police station the night of the election.
El Arbayeen, District 2, where the candidate was Mona Shawky, there were election posters in front of many polling places that alleged that Mona Shawky withdrew her candidacy, committed suicide, was an agent of America, or accused her of moral corruption and religious accusations aimed at ruining her reputation.
Magda El Newashy from District number 1 complained to the ECWR that she and her supporters were insulted in public by the NDP candidate. She also received a death threat from the NDP supporters. She filed official reports of these threats to the police. Following this, there were protests against her, resulting in the destruction of her campaign banners, for which she filed another report to the security director.
At Kasm Awal Souhag, female candidate Mona Foua”d found that many women were assaulted in front of the Army’s Secondary School polling station by the policemen and the chief officer, and they threatened the female candidate to leave the polling stations or face arrest.
In Abou Hamad District, Soa”ad Tea”alp (female candidate) had two cars crash into her deforming all of her body. The investigations cited tht this was done by an unidentified person.
In the first District, candidate Samira Said Ahmed faced slander and threats. Her representative was also slandered and harassed. They pulled her clothing and the husband of the representative received death threats.
At the Police Station in Belbees, in front of polling station number 8, female candidate, Marrwa Nabeel, objected to the harassment she had suffered by the relatives of one of the candidates, but they threatened to deform her face using acid.
2. The threat of violence
We are used to hearing about and seeing violence in the parliamentary elections. Yet, we didn”t expect the level of violence observed in these elections to be so high. Many disputes and fights occurred in a lot of the women”s districts and voters were prevented from voting, affecting the election process and its results.
In Abdeen District, polling station no 16, where the female candidate was Nadia Ahmed El Sabahy, a woman created problems and fights as she took women from the streets and disabled and blind people to vote. This woman also assaulted the El Ghad party representative. At Bab El Sharya, El Shourfa school, the candidate for the NDP threatened voters and assaulted and beat them. In the same district, all the schools had thugs distribute announcements and publications for the NDP candidate, in Misr El Kadima District, in the Hasan El Anwar school polling station which is where there were the candidates Hana El Saydy, the NDP candidate supporters and independent candidate created fights and disputes between women and men voters to ruin the election process and made the judges (in charge of the polling station) close the polling station.
Complaints came in from Heliopolis and Nasr City Districts claiming that ANPI Company for Petroleum workers were gathered and threatened with collective punishment, including preventing workers from receiving the benefit of early pensions if they did not vote for the NDP candidate. In front of the polling station, the NDP candidate representative took the names of workers that did not vote for the NDP candidate.
In the runoff:
Complaints came in from Heliopolis and Nasr City Districts claiming that ANPI Company for Petroleum workers were gathered and threatened with collective punishment, and preventing workers from receiving the benefit of early pensions if they did not vote for the NDP candidate. In front of the polling station, the NDP candidate representatives took the names of workers whot did not vote for the NDP. And company employees that came in to vote were also threatened in front of the polling stations, that if they didn”t vote for the NDP candidate they should leave. In El Khalifa District, there was fighting between the NDP candidate and representatives of the independent candidate because they had distributed money to the voters.
Bani Swief :
In Barouk Village, there was fighting and shooting between two of the NDP candidates one of them is called Ali El Bakry Seleem (labor) and the other Abou El kher Abdel Aleem (groups), 12 people were wounded.
At Bander Bani Suef, El Rahba Preparatory School polling station in El Ghamrawy, the representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood forced one of the voters to vote for his candidate, and when the voter refused the representatives insisted to give him their publications.
District 1, Adel El Safty school polling station number 18, there was a dispute between the representative of one of the female candidates and the woman was physically assaulted by the representative of the female candidate, so the judge threatened to report the women. When they asked the woman she said that the NDP candidate offered to give her 150 LE if she voted for the camel and crescent symbols.
In District number 1, where Magda El Newashy ran, at polling stations 84, 85, 86, the NDP candidate tore up the documents of the candidates of the Muslim Brotherhood and the representatives of the female candidate Magda El Newashy. So the number of members in her delegation was reduced. One of Magda El Newashy”s supporters (Mohammed Hussien) was physically assaulted in El Hakeem Ammer Street resulting in a neck injury that required medical attention. The judges were careless and the security was absent and didn”t perform their role.
Also in District number 1, Magda El Newashy’s District, at El Shouhada”a preparatory for boys school and secondary school for girls, polling station no 86, at 7:30 the NDP candidate and their thug supporters assaulted the voters and beat them, as the security forces looked on and didn’t interfere. There was a cameraman monitoring the accident, he was beaten as well and his camera was smashed. El Shouhada”a preparatory boys’ school was closed and every one entering the polling station was searched, the judge didn”t allow the ECWR”s observer to enter the polling station.
In District number 1, in front of El Mousheer Ahmed Esmail school, there were many youths wearing yellow shirts with the picture of one of the candidates on the front called Mahmoud Osman and a picture of another candidate (Ahmed Abou Zeed) on the back, and tear gas, pocketknives and swords were used. They also shot some rounds of fire to terrorize the voters and candidates.
In District number 1, El Sadat school polling station, there were cars filled with thugs to terrorize the voters and beat those who didn”t vote for NDP candidate, and they beat the representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood and shredded their banners, which led to many voters not voting.
In District number 1, El Tegara Secondary School, there were female thugs harassing the youths of the Muslim Brotherhood and abusing the voters to create disputes and fights.
In District number 1, in front of El Zerraa School for boys, women following the NDP candidate (Ahmed Abou Zeed) beat the women from the Muslim Brotherhood party and pulled the full face veil off Mona Said AbdEl Kader (she reported this at the police station number 12 second section).
In Bor Foua”ad District, polling stations numbers 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, El Tegara secondary school, the women were gathered to vote for independent candidate Mohamed El Tahan and his representatives gave each woman 20 LE. There were microbuses transferring the voters to vote for the NDP candidate and gave them 30 LE each.
In El Fayoum, Bander El Fayoum District, parliamentary candidate Amal Mohammed Abdel Gawad informed the ECWR that men wielding pocketknives and swords closed the polling stations of El Saha El Shabaia, Mohammed Salem School, El Sofy School, and El Bassel School in favor of the NDP candidate. One member of the NDP cursed all of the other election candidates and stated “No voice is higher than the NDP voice.”
In the Second Kasam, Shoubra El Khama District, there were disputes among the supporters of the NDP candidates (labor) and the supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood (labor), resulting in seven people being hurt and transferred to Nasser hospital, and the security interfered, and they threw the supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood out of the voting area and left the supporters of NDP candidates (Mohamed Awad).
In El Sharkeya governorate, first District, polling place El Zeraa school: The candidate was Fatma Mohammed. The NDP candidate brought 20 large men and positioned them in front of the polling places and at the front they positioned a large woman to intimidate female voters and disperse them far away from the polls.
In District 8, polling place El Katiba: The candidate was Marwa Nabel. The competitor assembled thugs and positioned them at polling places to threaten voters and force them to vote for him. He brought his sisters to assault the female candidate and threatened to assault her if she made any announcements.
In Domiat, Bander District: The candidate was Fatma Mohammed. In front of polling places 73, 74, 75 and 76 of the Azhar Religious Institute, the Chief of Police of Bander Domiat cooperated with thugs to prevent voters from entering the polling station to vote. Security made a barrier around the polling station to prevent voters from entering.
In Domiat Center District, polling place El Lowzy secondary school: The candidate was Laila Ebrahim. The state security cooperated with some large women in assaulting female voters and tearing their clothes to prevent them from entering the polling station. They also gathered thugs in four microbuses and arrested all the other candidate’s representatives as well as some voters.
Red Sea Governorate:
In the Red Sea governorate, the female candidate Mona Abdel Moty filed a report stating that her election number was changed from 18 to 16. Her prefix and suffix weren’t on the election card, which made her voters confused.
3. Gathering and using women:
El Beheira Governorate:
At polling stations 22, 23, and 24 in El Baheira Governorate, where candidate Soa’ad Ahmed Mohamed was running for the election in District 4 Shortat El Mahmoudaya, the NDP candidate transported women, and their families and neighbors, to the polling stations in microbuses. El Beheira is a largely rural area where many of the inhabitants are illiterate and the NDP candidate exploited the disadvantaged economic situation of these women in order to obtain their votes.
In front of the El Zeraa School in El Ismailia Governorate, buses were used to collect the female employees from the El Dwagen Company to transport them to polling stations in order to vote for the NDP candidate Ahmed Abu Zeed.
In Mohram Beek District, where the candidates were Samiya Taher and Sourya Sorour, at Samier school polling place, there were women dancing to attract voters and singing a song called “we chose him ….. we chose him” for promoting the NDP candidate ” Mamdoh Hosny”
In Alexandria, District. 6 Ghabrial, Nabuaia Mousa School, polling station no 52, the NDP candidates gathered women in buses and paid each one 300LE for their votes.
Port Said Governorate:
At polling stations 63, 64, 65, 66, and 67 in the Port Said Governorate, Kesm Shortat El Mankh District, where candidates Faten El Said Sadiq, Nadia Ibrahim Hassen, and Amany Shata were running for the elections, the representatives of AbdEl wahab Otaa and El Said Metwaly candidates transported women in microbuses nos. 4022 and 194 to the polling stations. Each woman was given anywhere between 50-100LE for their votes.
4. Judges refusal to record some violations, interventions and corruption:
In Bab El Sheraya, Mohamed Abdouh School polling place, there was someone inside the polling station marking the ballots instead of voters, in the same district, at the following schools (khalil Agha, Mohammed Abdouh and El Nasr), there weren”t voter lists out of the polling stations. In El Salam District, El Nasr School, polling places no (37- 38- 39- 40- 41) the polling stations opened at 8:50 am. At polling station 38, the judge went out from the polling station during the election process to get something from his car. At polling station no 39 the judge arrived to the polling station at 9:30.
In Misr El Kadima, polling station no 17, there wasn”t curtains in side the polling station, so some of the voters openly objected. In Omar Ebn El A”as the polling stations were closed at 6: 50pm and the voters were prevented from entering the polling station to vote even though many people still wanted to vote, they kicked them out and closed the polling station.
In Kerdasa District, polling place no 1, the female chief of the polling station put the ballot cards in her bag after the voters had marked them, and she prevented the journalists from entering the polling station.
In the first District, which is the district of the female candidate Aza Eaz El Deen, the supporters of the NDP candidates and the brotherhood influenced the citizens by distributing announcements in front of the polling station and inside it, which is an illegal act.
At El Rahba School, the representatives of the candidates were inside the polling station looking for the names of voters, which something the chief of the polling station should do and not them, and The representatives entered inside the stations with the voters while they were voting, which is not allowed.
A lot of the polling stations were located so far away from the voters’ place of residence that they were not able to vote, and some voters’ names were listed incorrectly in polling stations of another village.
In the first District, polling station no 17, Adel El Safty School, the judge refused to put the fingers of one of the voters in the ink, after she voted because she had henna tattoo on her hand saying that” these hand are too beautiful to be put in the ink !!”
In Bander El Minya, the election boxes were sealed at 6: 40 pm (before the appointed time), at the polling stations of the old girl’s secondary school, the new secondary girl’s school, and the preparatory school. And all the polling stations opened at 9:30 am (after the appointed time.) In the same district, there were publications inside the polling station and on the stairway, especially at the polling station of Abna”a ElThawra school and The new secondary girl’s school, so the representatives of the candidates distributed the ballot cards to the voters inside the polling stations.
In ElAdwa District, the security forces were not doing their role properly which is ensuring that election process runs smoothly and protecting the voters, and so commotion broke out as well as incidents of sexual harassment.
In the runoff, in El Adwa District, there was 3000 citizen, in front of Masady school polling stations no (69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74) because the chief of the polling station didn”t allow them to enter to the polling stations and vote, which resulted in the voters objecting and causing much chaos, and so the chief of polling station intervened allowing for 300 citizens to enter the station to vote and then closed the polling station again till the end of the election day at 7:00 pm, because there were a lot of mistakes in the voter lists.
In Bander Asyut, at the polling station of Ali Ebn Abi Taleb, the chief of the polling station exppelled the representatives and the monitors saw the banner hanging inside the school, for the candidate Abdalla El Nadeem, and in polling station no 33 in the same district, there were just banners for the NDP candidates, in El Khaiat secondary school for girls, the security prevented people from entering the school. In candidate Afaf Youssif’s District, the employees of the local council used their power to support the NDP candidate and encouraged people to vote for them.
In ElFath School, Dewan Elfath for Book polling station, policemen stood at the doors to search the voters before entering the polling station to intimidate them.
At Moharam Beek District, El Nabawy ElMohandes school, which was candidate Sana”a Helmy Mohamed,’s district the judge didn”t count the voting cards in most polling stations and didn”t record the interventions.
Moharam Beek District, El Talla”a school, where was the candidate Samya Taher. The NDP candidate made registration collectively to 3000 citizens working on the Public Authority for Transferring the Citizens in Alexandria, and El Naser Company for Smoke, although there is judgment declared on November 17, 2005 no 2095 include stopping the collective registration, this lawsuit was raised by candidate called Hessen Abou El Magd against the Justice Minster and others.
Moharm Beek District, polling station no 61, Tawfeek El Hakeem school, where was candidate Samyia Taher, the judge didn”t use the ink in voting, when our observer asked him “why did you use the ink?” he answered” I use the stamp and every one has personal freedom”
In El Raml District, where was candidate Sana”a Helmy Mohamed, the judges in polling stations no 139, 99 didn”t allow entering for our observers, they refused to do a report of objection from our observers, there wasn”t privacy for the voting process at the tow polling places, and the judges allowed to the voters to vote without election cards.
El Montazah District, the representatives and the delegations were prevented to enter Mostafa Mosharf school polling station except the representatives and delegations of NDP candidate.
At Bander El Fayoum District, polling station no 106, female candidate was Amal El Saiady, the security were inside the polling station and outside it and they threatened and arrested all who objected on the interventions of NDP, and prevented the voters to enter for voting expect who voted for the interest of NDP candidate.
District 1, Kasm Bander El Fayoum, polling station no 17. the brotherhood representatives didn”t allowed to enter the polling station for two hours.
District 1, Kasm Bander El Fayoum, there weren”t curtains at many polling stations, and that lose the privacy of voting.
Naqada District, polling place 1, where was candidate Hamida Kamal Abdel Mongy, representative of south upper Egypt radio objected to harassment by the policemen representative of south upper Egypt radio.
Port Said Governorate:
In El Dawahy District, where candidates Huda Ibrahim Ismail and Hanan Ibrahim are running for election, there were four boxes of election cards were entered to the polling station during dispute between the representatives of brotherhood party and NDP.
El Gharbaya Governorate:
El Mahal, Safaya Zaghloul school in El Manshaya, where was candidate Naa”met Rashad Mohamed, the judge allowed to the voters to vote without the election cards and identity cards, the fingerprint ink removed easily.
El Mahal District, where was candidate Naa”mat Rashad Mohamed, there were many policmen inside and outside the polling stations and there were police officers in poling stations inside most the districts.
El Mahala District, the NDP candidates were allowed to make announcement and publication inside and outside the polling stations and the rest candidates were prevented to do that.
El Mahala District, the son of candidate Hamdy Hussein (labor), was prevented to enter the polling station at the front of El Salam School although he had general delegation.
El Mahala District, Abdel Megeed Seleem school, the voters signed on two lists, one with the judge (the supervisor) inside the poling station and the second with the employee at the NDP outside the polling station. And they forced the voters to voter for the NDP candidate. When the independent candidate “Mohamed Omer El Kady” objected, the judge refused to record his objection in an official report.
In Kantart Gharb District 3, polling station 42, where was the candidate Aliya Fahmy, there was no ink in the polling station.
El Semblaween, District 13, polling place in front of Meet Ghourab school: The candidates were Howaida Mostafa and Zenab El Said Abdel All. The polling stations opened at 10 am, causing security to threaten violence. The NDP candidate and police prevented voters from entering polling stations 111 and 112. Police assaulted one of the voters (a lawyer) and prevented him from entering.
In Mansoura District number 1, at the Sandoub Preparatory School for Boys, The secondary Taha Hussen School for boys, and the administrative of Preparatory Mansoura East, only the voters who had NDP cards were allowed to vote. So the supporters of the opposition party couldn”t enter the polling station, and the security forces helped terrorize the opposition’s voters.
At Ebn Aleem Village, Aby Aleem Primary School, polling station 56, the female candidate complained that the judge marked on the ballots instead of the voters.
El Kateeba District, District 1, where Marwa Shoua”ab was running, the judge started the voting at 9:30 am, although there were representatives inside the polling station. And there wasn”t fingerprint ink available in the village of Awlad Moughny and the judge used stamps instead!
Kasem Awal Souhag O”m El Moa”amneen preparatory school for girls, polling stations 33 to 38, women were gathered in microbuses 3146, 835, and 1962 for the interest of the NDP candidate. In addition to the women gathered their neighbors and family to vote.
Red Sea governorate:
Second Kasem, Hurghada District 1, in front of El Shahed Hasan Kamel school, polling station no 18, where was Mona Abdel Moatte. Many women were used ululating and beating drums and cheering for the interest of NDP candidate, and that happened also in front of many polling stations.
In the Red Sea governorate, the female candidate Mona Abdel Moty filed a report stating that her election number was changed from 18 to 16. Her prefix and suffix were also lacking on the election card, which made her voters confused.
Police station, Hurghada District, the observers were prevented to monitor the election in most polling stations.
5. Tribal values awakened in the Egyptian community:
The strongest trend the ECWR observed during monitoring the women”s districts in the parliamentary election, was how the candidates of the NDP used the conservative traditions of the Egyptian community and tribal values against female candidates, in order to negatively influence the voters and destroy the hopes of the female candidates, the National Democratic Party didn”t implement the President”s program of ensuring a minimum of parliamentary seats for women, and instead opened the door for the candidates to do whatever they pleased in the election campaign, even things that are against the state civil values.
In the Embaba District, the NDP candidate created negative publicity against the female candidate Nashwa El Deeb, and the supporters of the National Democratic Party harassed her representatives and assistants.
In Bander Asuwit, Sahel Selem, where the candidate Thana”a Esmail was running, men from the same family of Thana”a were encouraged to run up against her in the same district, to save their family’s image, as they were told “where are the men in the family !?”
In the first District, where the candidate Nea”ama Esmail ran, the National Democratic Party incited tribal values within the Egyptian community by harassing and reproaching the election campaign representatives and assistants, as well as the voters, for supporting women instead of men and accusing them of disintegrating traditional values. NDP supporters ripped banners and election advertisements for female candidates at many polling stations under this pretext. The same thing happened in El Minya, Bani Suif, Asuwit.
In Souhag, Gizirat Shandweel District, polling stations no 47 and 48, that included the candidate Mona Fou”ad, Tribal values are extremely important in this governorate, and the tribes agreed with the NDP candidate to vote for him, so that no one else can compete.
6. The use of bribes, money and drugs
At Bab El Sharaya, El Shorfa School, where the candidate Hanan Mohamed El Zouhary ran, the supporters of El Ghad distributed key-rings to the voters. At El Salam District, Fatma El Zahara”a polling station, where was the candidate Esmat El Marghany, the female candidate gathered women who were given monthly allowances to vote for her. At some polling stations, drugs were distributed to attract young voters to support the NDP”s candidate and prevent them from voting for the female candidate.
In the runoff, the use of bribery was employed at El Khalifa District to further attract voters. Bribes started from 50LE to 100 LE as a kind of prizes in front of polling station, Nasr City and Helioples, the candidates competed of distributing the money that started from 50 and growing in the last hours before closing the polling stations.
In Bani Suif, the first District, where candidate Aza Eaz El Deen ran, meals, juice and money were distributed to the voters in front of the polling stations, for encouraging them to support the NDP candidate. Likewise, the supporters of the candidate Ebrahim Soubeh (independent) distributed gifts and meals to the voters, and the candidates of Brotherhood party and the NDP did the same thing in front of the polling station in the El Koum el Ahmar village.
In El Rahba school, the supporters of Eisa Abd El Wahed distributed 50 L.E to each person who voted for him, also the supporters of candidates tempted the poor voters with money and gifts to vote for them. At El Akbat school and El Zahara”a school, money, meals, and gifts were distributed for the voters to influence on them, that leading to dispute between the voters.
In the first District, where candidate Nea”ama Esmail ran, there were disputes between women and supporters of the NDP because they didn”t give them the money that they were promised, in El Methak school in the same district, the NDP candidates distributed bribes and money till the vote price reached 150 LE, in the preparatory school for girls, polling station no 16 the vote price was between 50 and 80 LE.
In El Adwai District, the female candidate Eman AbdEl Hakeem, El Adwi secondary industrial school, the supporters of candidates paid money for voters, and distributed gifts for the voters and encouraged them to vote for them.
In the runoff, El Adwai District, polling station no 70, the representative of the NDP candidate carried a weapon inside the polling station; there were fights among the supporters of the NDP candidates and the brotherhood party. In addition to the fights between the security and the candidates of the Muslim brotherhood party.
When the vote counting started, the representatives, the candidates and the monitors from the civil community for the election were prevented from attending.
The supporters of NDP candidate “El Said Ali Ebrahim” distributed money and gave each voter 30 LE after voting for him.
El Behara Governorate:
At polling stations No. 22, 23, and 24, the Preparatory Baurout School, in the El Beheira Governorate, where the female candidate Soa”ad Ahmed Mouhammed ran, the NDP candidate transported voters to the polling station in bus no. 27681 and distributed financial cards to obtain their votes. And his supporters were rounded and called the following statement out loud “anyone with an election card, should ride with us to vote and take his complimentary financial card !”
In District 6 Ghabrial, Nabuaia Mousa School, polling station 52, the NDP candidates gathered women in buses and paid each one 300LE for their votes.
Moharm Beek District, Sameir school, where candidates Sourya Sameir, Samiya Taher ran. The NDP candidates ( Mamdouh Housni and Ahmed Abdel Mena”am) paid each voter from 100 to 150 LE.
Port Said Governorate:
In Port Said Governorate, Ali Ebn Aby Taleb District, women’s polling station nos. 60, 61, and 62, representatives of NDP candidate conveyed women to the polling stations in buses no 30229 where each was paid 30LE for their votes.
In front of the Port Said Sport Club, polling station no 11 and 12, Kesm Shortat El Mankh, female voters fought with NDP representatives for an increase in their payment from 20 to 30LE, during which they ripped up the money they had received.
In Pour Foua”ad District, where the candidate Waffa Ali Houssni ran, Elkhoutout El Arabaya school. The representatives of the candidate Mohamed El Nakeeb distributed money to the voters outside the school.
In Pour Foua”ad District, where the candidate Waffa Ali Houssni ran, the El Nasser primary school polling station no (1,2,3,4,5 and 6). The candidate Mahmoud Soubhy (NDP) gathered men and women voters to vote collectively and paid each voter 50 LE to obtain their votes.
In Shourtat El Manakh District, polling stations no (70, 71, 72 and 73) where candidates Faten Said Sedeek, Nadia Ebrahim Hassin, Amany Shata. The voters were conveyed to the polling stations in cars no (3998- 670) for voting collectively for the NDP candidate Abdel Wahab Qouta and paid each voter 20 LE. And there were four women were speaking with the representative of the NDP candidate Abdel Wahab Qouta about the money and requested 120 LE, but the representative said ” we will not pay more than 80, then the women responded” we will go to the candidate Said Metwaly and give him our votes”, after that the representatives agreed to give them the money that they requested.
El Sharkaya governorate:
In Abou Hamad District, poling station no 1,2. The NDP candidates distributed money to the voters from 40 to 50 LE, and the representatives were present inside the polling station telling voters who to vote for and the NDP candidate and his supporters were out side the polling stations distributing money.
7. Problems with voter lists and procedures
Despite all the calls and requests form the political parties, NGOs, and syndicates to check the voter lists and delete the dead people, and those who have changed their voting places, and automatically add the new names of those who have reached 18 years, and request from the Interior Ministry to make a link or connection between the voters lists and Identity cards.
Despite all these calls and requests, the Interior Ministry declared that they checked the voting lists, and discovered all the old problems of the previous years had remained, with some names repeated and others being dropped, and there were different copies of the voting lists in different places. And also there were discrepancies between the voting lists that were hung up in the polling stations doors and the voting lists that were with the independent candidates and the opponents” candidates, and there were differences between the voting lists inside the polling stations and the voting lists that were with the NDP candidates.
All these problems in the voting lists prevented many from voting, and was considered to be what triggered people’s disbelief in the impartiality and neutralism of the elections, because people suspected that these mistakes were exploited for the interest of the NDP candidates.
In El Manial, where candidate Dr. Shahenaz El Nagar ran, there was clear mistakes in the voters” names on the voter lists which resulted in the voting and election process being hampered with, a woman called Raghda, had her name written on the voter lists as Baghda, also Enyat Zedan was wrote Ayad Zayan, so some woman entered the polling station to vote, only to find that their was already checked, this was also caused by the similarities of many names as well as deliberate forgery. In Dar El Salam District, El Nasr language school, there were many names dropped out from the election lists such as Aykat Tadrous Hana, election No 1560, and there were many repeated names.
Many citizens issued complaints concerning both the first Election Day (November 9) and the Return Election Day (November 15) voting rosters. In the Districts of Heliopolis and Nasr City, complainants indicated that voter rosters on Election Day were different than those on Return Election Day. Voter names could not be found on Return Election rosters, although they were listed on the first Election Day rosters and had in fact voted. There was collective voting for the NDP candidates at many districts in different governorates, the voters were transferred in cars no (21529 Kalybaya taxi, 30090 Monfaya taxi, and bus 1068, tourism bus Bani Suif no 1, trip bus Monfaya no 535, and general transfer bus Cairo no 53308, Microbus Gharbaya 13999, it has announcements for El Salaab NDP candidate. likewise ANPI Company for Petroleum workers were gathered and threatened with collective punishment, including preventing workers from receiving the benefit of early pensions if they did not vote for the NDP candidate. In front of the polling station, the NDP candidate representative took the names of workers that did not vote for the NDP candidate.
In all districts of the governorate, there were differences between the voting lists inside the polling station and the voting lists outside of the polling stations, the monitors found a lot of mistakes in the voters names and many similarities in names that caused confusion, because they wrote their full family names.
In the first District, El Rahabaya school, where candidate Aza Eaz El Deen ran, the supporters of the NDP candidates controlled the voter lists and told the voters whether their names were on the lists or not, there were youths under 18 years old that voted after they found their names on the voter lists and they voted without election cards. El Adwa District, the voters voted without the election cards, and some voters found that their names had mistakes and others didn”t find their names at all, which prevented them from voting.
In The first District, where Naema”at Esmail was running, at the Local Health Center, in the village of El Kasr, some voters went to vote but found that their names were already marked! One voter called Rezk Abdel Molaa Mousa objected to this inside the polling station.
In Bander Shebeen El Koom District, at the preparatory school for girls, where the candidate Nadia Saaid ran, there were many mistakes in the voter lists with the chief of the polling station, so many voters couldn”t vote.
In El Fath District, many citizens didn”t find their names on the voter lists, even though they had voted in the presidential election, In the same districts. And other mistakes were found in their names that prevented them from voting.
El Gharbeya Governorate:
In Kasm Awal Tanta, El Shahed Yahiya El Watany, where was the candidate Tamadour Abdall El Sedeek. The mistakes were founded in the voter lists and many voters didn”t found their names.
In The Preparatory Religion Institute, where the candidate Amal Abouel Yazeed ran, many female voters didn”t find their names on the lists, although they had previously voted at the same polling station.
In El Hamdyat Sheyakha District, Bander Qana, where the candidate Huda Naa”em Makar ran, police station (Qana District 1) 850 voters found that their names were written in the files but not on the voting lists.
Port Said Governorate:
In Shortat El Manakh District, where the candidate Faten Said Sedek, Nadia Ebrahim Hasan and Amany Shata ran, the polling stations no 68 and 69, had several mistakes in the voting lists which prevented many from voting.
El Behera Governorate:
In El Mahmoudaya District, El Sedawy District, El Menasa District, El Hager District, where the candidate Sou”ad Ahmed Mohammed was running, many mistakes were founded on the voting lists.
In El Montazah District, there were many mistakes on the lists; and the voters’ names were transferred to other polling stations
In El Semblaween, District 13, at the polling place in front of Meet Ghourab school: The candidates were Howaida Mostafa and Zenab El Said Abdel All. The polling stations opened at 10 am, which caused the security forces threaten to use violence.
In El Semblaween, District 13, Mubarak Primary School, polling places 105, 106, 107, 108, there were mistakes in the voter”s lists, so the voters couldn”t vote.
In District 1, at the police station of El Sharkaya, candidate Samira Ahmed observed that the polling stations were closed after 5:45 and police prevented the voters from voting. According to the female candidate, the ballots were signed inside the polling stations.
Red Sea governorate:
In The second District, North Sinai, Rafah, the Art school polling station 8 where female candidate A”asha Souliman Fared was running, the judge found that one of the voters who had voted for the NDP candidate had forged his ballot.
8. Security interference and closing of polling stations
In El Raml District, that included Sana”a Helmy Mohammed, El Montazah District as candidates, Zenab Ahmed Mohamed, Mona Moneer Ya”akoup Hana, Faten Mohammed Shayboub, Sa”ad Ali Hassn, El Mansheya District where there was candidates Satouta Mohamed Hassn, Nagla”a Ebrahim Abdo, Vivyan Mohamed Wagdy, Karmouz District where there was candidate Amal Abdel Razeek, and El Attareen District where there was the candidate Fatheya Omar Helal, The ECWR received complaints concerning suspicious meetings between security forces and male and female ex-convicts to devise schemes to terrorize the parliamentary candidates and instill fear in citizens in order to force their votes in favor of the NDP candidate.
In El Ramel District, at the Ebn Sina school, polling stations 67 to 75, had thugs wielding pocketknives and swords for beating the voters.
In El Gomrok District, many people were killed, such as Khalil Mohammed Khalil, (the driver of one of the candidates), and another individual named El Abarry. Much of the violence and the killings, were done by under cover policemen in normal clothing.
In El Faloga District, Barkok where the candidate San”a Helmy Mohammed Karkouk ran, the thugs opened gun fire in the Bahary area and prevented voters from entering the polling station, and only allowed the voters of NDP to enter.
In District 1, El Tegara secondary school for girls, female thugs followed the NDP for the purpose of abusing and harassing women of the Muslim Brotherhood to create disputes and fights.
El Raml, Ebn Sina School, thugs assaulted the voters using swords at polling stations 67-75.
In Moharam Beak District, El Zera”a college school, the thugs gathered in front of the school carrying sticks to prevent the women of Muslim Brotherhood party from voting.
In El Manshaya, in front of the Egyptian Company for Navigation, the thugs prevented one of candidates (labor- independent) enters the polling station and prevented the voters as well instigating fights.
In El Manshaya District, polling stations no 22, 23, 24 some of thugs gathered to beat the candidates using glass and sticks and prevented the opposition candidates from making announcements.
In Karmouz District, in front of Ebrahim Bekhet school, and Karmouz preparatory school. The voters were attacked by thugs wielding pocketknives and swords and the thugs threatened to deform them as well, and tear gas was used, all to create an atmosphere of terror and intimidation and to force people to vote for the NDP candidate, these events led to many voters getting wounded and were transferred to El Asafra hospital.
In Abou Homous District, the new preparatory school, where the candidate Mona Abd El Aziz ran, the representatives of the NDP and the brotherhood party fought, and yet the security didn”t interfere.
In District 4, El Mahmoudaya police station, the new preparatory school and El Salam School, where were the candidates Soa”ad Ahmed Mohammed and Saidada Abdel Azeem, the voters were threatened by the thugs wielding the tears gas, pocketknives and swords, to remove them from the polling stations. Many voters were hurt and the rest ran away form the polling stations, there were eight cars of central security forces but they didn”t interfere!
Port Said governorate:
In front of the El Kapaty Primary School in El Dawahy District, polling stations nos. 9, 10, and 11, in Port Said Governorate, where candidates Huda Ibrahim Ismail and Hanan Ibrahim are ran for the election, the central security threw tear gas in fear that the voters would harm the candidates. The judge closed the polling site from 11 am to 2 pm. In addition to the representatives of NDP candidates fought with the supporters of brotherhood party wielding the pocketknives and swords.
In the same district, outside of Ouhed Primary School, the central security also beat many women with sticks and struck them down in clear view of bystanders and the other Egyptian women voters and candidates.
In El Dawahy District, four boxes filled with election cards were sneaked in to the polling station during a dispute between the supporters of the NDP and the brotherhood party, and immediately after the polling station was closed.
In the same district, the male and female thugs and the police officers agreed to terrorize the candidates and the voters that happen on the Election Day, under the control some police officers in different districts.
In the Nozal El Shabab District 1, where was Magda El Newashy. The observers monitored that the thugs were gathered with NDP candidates and some police officers, who left the female candidates and voters prey to the thugs” supporters the NDP, the thugs controlled on many polling stations with many trained dogs.
El Fayom governorate:
In El Fayom, Shortat El Fayom District 1, the candidate Amal Mohammed Abdel Gawad ran. The police officer arrested some of the representatives of the candidates on the night of the Election Day and used them in the El Saha El Sha’beyaya polling stations, which included 8 polling stations for the interest of the NDP candidate at the Mohamed Salem School and El Soufy School, and El Basel school.
In the Mansoura District 1, at the Sandoub Preparatory School for Boys and the Sandoub Secondary School for Girls, the polling stations were closed from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Many voters came to vote but policemen sent them away.
At the Police Station in Belbees District, in front of polling station number 8, female candidate, Marrwa Nabeel, there wasn”t fingerprint ink inside the polling stations, and the judges marked the ballots instead of the voters. And the polling stations of El Sa”adatb and El Kaeba abd El Sharnaba were closed at 10:00 am.
In the Belbees District, polling station no 1, where female candidate Marwa Shoua”ab ran, the polling station was closed at 2:00 pm for the interest of the NDP candidate, with cooperation from members of parliament and the chief of the police station in Belbess.
In Kasem Awal Souhag, at the night of election, 250 supporters of The Muslim Brotherhood party were arrested from El Sala”a Village, and the village residents were terrorized and threatened for not voting for the Brotherhood party candidate. So the people didn”t go out to vote at all. There weren”t representatives for the Brotherhood at the district such as the Al-Amery Primary School, Eh-Tayseer Primary School, El Shaheed Tayar School, Preparatory O”m El Mou”mneen School for girls.
In Kasm Awal Souhag, female candidate Mona Foua”d found many women were beaten in front of the Army Secondary School polling station by the policemen and the chief of policemen, and they threatened the female candidate to either leave the polling stations; or have her arrested.
In Kasm Awal Souhag, at the female candidate, Mona Foua”d”s polling stations no. 45 to 48, policemen arrested all the representatives of the female candidates who spoke on behalf of them – but did not arrest the representatives of the NDP candidates.
Kafr El Sheikh:
In Bander El Sheekh, number 1, female candidate San”a Mahmoud Ali said that the polling stations were closed at the following schools: Industrial Heritage School, Sakhaa Commercial School, Huda Sharawy School, and El Sadat Primary School. They closed these stations in order to prevent the voters from entering. They stopped all the voters expect the ones who were planning on voting for the NDP candidate. They used thugs in front of the polling places with pocketknives and swords. We received information that at these 4 schools there were about 60 thousand voters.
9. Sexual harassment
In Domiat Center District, Ezpet El Laham, the security forces assaulted the voters of the opposition parties to prevent them from entering the polling stations and voting.
In Domiat Center District, polling place El Lowzy secondary school: The candidate was Laila Ebrahim. The state security used some strong women in assaulting female voters and tearing their clothes to prevent them from entering the polling station. They also gathered thugs in four microbuses and arrested all the other candidate’s representatives as well as some voters.