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First Round Results of Egyptian Election

Posted on the 28 May 2012 by Warigia @WarigiaBowman
Dear Readers
So, here are excerpts from a report I received from one of the most important multilateral agencies observing the elections.
Report of First Round Results of
2012 Presidential Elections Observation
Partners in Nation Campaign Introduction: As the counting process of the first electoral round ends, a runoff between Muhammad Morsi and Ahmed Shafiq is expected, and a new stage of the Egyptian political future begins. All Egyptians are looking out to free and fair elections which brings stability and launches the Second Republic established by the January 25th Revolution. [Excerpted] General Indicators of First Round Observation First: Higher Presidential Election Commission: Challenges and Problems: HPEC has played an important role in the peaceful organization of the first round. The commission has been more organized and  capable of managing the elections, in contrast to its parliamentary peer. These differences are significant in many cases. HPEC has also learnt a lot from the parliamentary elections.   [Excerpted] Moreover, there is not any communication mechanism between the HPEC and NGOs accredited to observe elections. This mechanism should work on information sharing, and receiveing complaints and statements from field observers to respond promptly to any violation. [*] calls for establishing an independent permanent commission to manage all election processes. This commission should have a reasonable annual budget, administrative body, and technical secretariate to develop its performance. Accordingly, this commission will be more capable to organize different electoral processes, and develop strong and effective relations with Civil Society Organizations and field observers. Second: Logistic Shortage Negatively Affects Elections Although HPEC is well organized, logistic supplies in polling stations in some governorates has been deficient. This has been clear in the late openning of many polling stations due to the late arrival of judges. In addition, some polling stations have not been prepared to recieve voters, others have been small such that they cannot receive candidate representatives, the administrative committe, and voters in the same time. Many judges have complained of bad ventilation inside the polling stations while temperature is very high. Third: Competent Governmental Authorities Complied with the Electoral Rules: Government authorities related to the electoral process has been neutral towards all candidates. Although there are some mistakes and violations by judges, security forces, and armed forces (as observed by EASD observers), all reflect misunderstanding of observer role and the ideological and political affiliations of those persons. All governmental parties which participate in election management should be trained on election management and security. Generally, EASD confirms that the Egyptian judges and administrative staff have abided by the Law. Security forces have cooperated with voters to facilitate voting process. The armed forces have made large efforts to secure all polling stations. Fourth: Close Opportunities of the Top Five Candidates Reduce Violations: For the first time in Egypt, real competitive elections are taking place. In the mean time, no one can predict the results. The close opportunities of the top five candidates and the varying poll results have assured all campaigns that their candidates can win without violating election rules and laws to avoid harming their results.  Accordingly, many of the violations witnessed during the parliamentary elections have decreased. Basically, heavy campaigning activities during the election day, and using cars to pass by homes and roam in the streets to urge voters to elect a certain candidate have totally disappeared in this election process. Fifth: Absence of Religious Campaigning: Accusing Competitors of Infidelity Although religious campaigning in the form of urgeing voters by mosques and churches to vote for a certain candidate has been prevalent, we are concerned with accusing competitors of infidelity. This kind of accusations have went to extremes in the parliamentary elections; however, it was very limited during the presidential elections. Religious polarization and campaigning are limited to promoting the candidate who will apply the Islamic Shari’a or who is able to stop the Islamists and protect Copts. Sixth: Buying Votes: Electoral Phenomenon which Have not Disappeared: This is an electoral phenomenon which have not disappeared and will not disapear soon. It has to be studied and analyzed since many citizens value their votes and trust certain political parties or candidates. [excerpted] However, buying votes is done secretly and not explicitly as before. On the other hand, our observers noticed that the price of vote has decreased to reach 150 LE or may be less. This figure is very small compared to the pre-Revolution parliamentary elections. This is an important indicator that this phenomenon is decreasing, however, it will not disappear soon. The Egyptian societly needs a long time to stop this bad habit. Seventh: Fights among Candidate Supporters: Political intolerance is still one of the signficant elements of Egyptian elections. This intolerance has escalated during the presidential elections. Our observers monitored many fights and clashes among candidate supporters. However, they are totally incomparable to the violent clashes of the pre-Revolution elections which have lead to several deaths and hundreds of injuries. Remarks and Recommendations: [*] is providing some remarks and recommendations about campaigning duration, election days, and counting to be applied in the second round. ·   Candidates should abide by the legal rules regulating the electoral campaigns, specifically, compliance with the maximum spending limit. ·   Civil society organizations should receive the rest of accreditations. ·  Observers should be allowed to photograph and document any violation inside the polling stations. ·   Observers should be allowed to attend counting processes in all polling stations, and calculation and documentation processes in the polling centers. This should not be left to the personal whims of the officials.

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