The National Campaign to Monitor Election Shadow Election Monitoring

The National Campaign to Monitor Election Shadow Election Monitoring
Press Release Statement

Concerning Parliament Stage II Re-Election Monitoring

The National Campaign for Monitoring the Elections and the Arab
Center for the Independence of the Judiciary and the Legal Profession,
the Shadow Committee for Election Monitoring coordinator, held a
press conference on 27 November 2005 to announce the results of
monitoring the parliament phase II re-election 2005.


Through our monitors’ comments and statements about the phase
re-election of the 2005 parliament elections, we can say that this
round was dominated by a number of characteristics, the most
significant of which are as follows:

1.      Egyptian security forces prevented voters from their
Constitutional right to vote, select and participate in government.
Security forces imposed a security belt and a siege around many
constituencies and polling stations, which even expanded to surround
complete villages in some cases.

2.      The high rates of violence and thuggery on part of thugs
and dangerous criminals as an introduction to impose security belts
around polling stations that would ultimately result in directing
the election process in favor of certain candidates.

3.      The use of money to influence the will of simple voters and
abusing their need for money to buy their will.

4.      Manipulating the religious feelings and worldly hopes of
voters to achieve political gains in a country where illiteracy
reached about 50%.

5.      Failure to observe the law organizing political rights and
the instructions of the Supreme Committee for Parliament Election
without taking any legal measures against violators.

6.      Failure to observe real judiciary supervision over elections.
The role of judges was restricted once again- inside polling stations
to the extent that some security personnel humiliated the judges
who attempted to break the security belt imposed on a polling station
to allow voters to practice their right of giving their vote. As a
result, some judges refused to continue supervision.

7.      Many monitors were prevented from performing their work
whether by security forces or some supervisors to the extent that
some monitors were arrested and detained until the end of the
election process. Monitors were also prevented from observing vote
counts although they had been issued relevant permits from the
Supreme Committee for Parliament Election.

These aspects characterizing this round of the parliament election
show that the round lacked many of the objective criteria of the
election process and took place in a climate that can be described
as unhealthy and lacking in honesty and ethics, deviates from the
concept of democracy and the civil state. Criticism can not be
restricted to one party in particular of the parties involved in
the election process. All parties participated in varying degrees
to creating this climate which renders the election process void.
It no longer expresses the real will of the voters.

Thus, in the light of the monitored incidents, we call upon all
parties to seek a code of ethics that puts an end to such practices,
including acts of violence, buying votes, manipulating religious
sentiments or preventing voters from exercising their Constitutional
rights. The Egyptian people should not be treated as goods in a
market regardless of the price. Nobody should seek to manipulate
the religious or the worldly hopes of the people.

We also call upon the President to prove, rather than merely being
the president of the ruling party, that he is the president of all
the various sects and affiliations that the Arab Republic of Egypt

We call upon the Minister of Justice, the chairman of the Supreme
Committee of Parliament Election, the competing parties and the
Muslim Brotherhood to take the necessary measures that will control
and minimize the unhealthy climate that characterized this round
and prevent it from prevailing over the third round.

For these reasons, we recommend the following:

1.      The President to announce his complete responsibility for
the third stage of the election.

2.      The President to issue a decree that affirms the right of
the Court of Cassation as stated in article 93 of the Constitution
and render the results of its investigations concerning challenges
obliging to all parties in order to teach anyone who attempts to
manipulate the will of citizens that they will not be on the winning
end before the parliament starts its sessions.

3.      The Minister of Justice, as the chairman of the Supreme
Committee for Parliament Election, is called upon to face up to his
responsibilities and defend the regulatory principles placed by the
Committee he heads. The Justice Minister is also called upon to
adopt a more effective means to facing violations. One of the main
reasons behind the phenomenon of thuggery is allowing candidates
to exceed the duration of election campaigning which continued until
election day, right outside polling stations without any deterrent.

4.      The Interior Minister is called upon to give clear instructions
to relevant security forces to secure the election process. He is
also called upon to give clear instructions that judges supervise
the election process as a whole, both inside and outside polling
stations, as well as instructing security personnel to obey the
decisions of heads of polling stations.

5.      In order to prevent the phenomenon of thuggery, we also
call upon the Minister of Interior to arrest and place in custody
any candidate supporters or agents that perform campaigning activities
48 hours before the election. Voting should take place in the absence
of any campaigning outside the polling station.

6.      An immediate investigation should be conducted and opposition
detainees should be released if proven innocent of involvement in
acts of violence.

7.      The National Democratic Party is called upon to search for
an alternative means and to prevent its candidates from buying
votes. Citizens’ wills are more valuable than to be involved in
such dealings.

8.      The Muslim Brotherhood and its candidates are called upon
to stop using religion and its slogans to make gains. They are asked
to refrain from manipulating religious feelings.

Finally, the National Campaign for Monitoring the Election and the
Arab Center for the Independence of the Judiciary and the Legal
Profession, the coordinator of the Shadow Committee to Monitor the
Election, express their support to the independent judges supervising
the election and their honorable positions represented by Counselor
Dr. Noha al-Zeini. We announce that we have filed two complaints
to the Minister of Justice (in his capacity as the chairman of the
Supreme Committee for Parliament Election) and the Prosecutor General
requesting an investigation concerning the violations mentioned in
Counselor Noha al-Zeini’s memo. The testimony of Counselor al-Zeini
and other judges supervising the election should be heard, as well
as the testimony of security personnel. Ballot boxes, as well as
the vote counting results signed by sub-committee heads, should be
kept in custody.