By: Ashraf Ramelah
Voice of the Copts
An election in three separate phases (voting days), in three geographical regions spread over a three-month period, was a decision made by the Egyptian Military Council for the purpose of controlling the safety of citizens during the election process. This also allows more opportunity for those in power (military and Muslim Brotherhood) to further manipulate and rig the final results.
The MB and Salafist parties are the declared winners of round one of the elections held on November 28, garnering more than 60 percent of the vote between the two of them.
However, the first of the three-phase Egyptian elections which just took place in nine major cities across the country, consisted of serious obstructions to voting and an overall corruption of the election process as follows (as per sources standing by):
- Some voting polls (all polls were set up in public schools), were never opened for operation so that fewer polls were available for the number of citizens in each location. As a consequence, the high concentration of voters at each polling place obstructed many individuals from actually casting a vote, while remaining in long lines after the polls closed.
- Some voting polls had unannounced delayed openings, illegally opening at 11 a.m. instead of 8 a.m., so that citizens arriving on time could not vote.
- Muslim Brotherhood and Salafi groups intimidated citizens in voting lines by asking people to give them the name and/or party of their vote to be cast.
- Voting was not a private act – poll administrators inside voting polls asked voters to state their choice and then observed their written ballot.
- Poll administrators, known as “judges” (non-military overseers appointed by the military), after illegally questioning voters, issued unauthentic and invalid (unstamped) ballots to voters who said they would vote for a candidate/party other than MB or Salafi.
- Muslim women wearing chador were illegally coerced by the MB and Salafi groups to vote for MB and Salafi parties/candidates and to cast multiple votes. One Muslim woman who was never arrested, was discovered waiting in line to vote with 18 National I.D. numbers in preparation to cast 18 votes.
- Five plastic trash bags of cast ballots, reported by an Egyptian journalist who made the discovery, were collected from the street outside of one voting poll, having been neglected or thrown away, never counted or verified. This implies that false ballots had replaced these original votes.
- MB and Salafi advocates came to people standing in voting lines and offered them money in exchange for their vote.
- MB and Salafi groups offered groceries (bags of rice, meat and oil) and other gifts to get voters to the polls and guarantee a vote for them – a very persuasive tactic in a country of diminished food supplies.
- MB and Salafi illegally held and hung Muslim religious signs at polls with Islamic slogans, influencing voters.
We call upon all free governments of the world to reject the results of Egypt’s current election, deny recognition of the outcome and demand a new election to be conducted under international oversight, so that the achievement and hope of the revolution which seeks a Western-style democracy will be preserved and fulfilled.