The first Statement of Nazaha Coalition for observing the
Presidential Election in Egypt 2018
Intensive turnout in Cairo, Sharqia and Alexandria and
average turnout in the other governorates
The Voting process has officially started in the Egyptian Governorates. Polling stations have opened for the voters at 9 AM in 26 th of March and till 28 th of March. The Medical and security services have been offered in front of the polling stations. There were notable military and police officers deployments who are assigned to secure the voters and the polling stations in order to facilitate the voting process.
This year, The National Election Commission entirely bears the responsibility of the Election Process. There is a judicial supervision of 18620 judges: Including Judges, members of General Attorney, members of administrative attorney, State Law Suit Authority and Council of State. There are 13706 sub- committees, 367 public Committees. The total numbers of voters are 59078138, who have the right to vote and participate in the election process.
In some governorates, since the early hours of the morning, there has been a great turnout of citizens to the polling stations, especially in the governorates of Cairo, Sharqiya and Alexandria, which have witnessed the influx of voters since the early morning and many of whose committees have seen more participation by women. It is not considered a public holiday, so the numbers are expected to rise further after employees finish their working hours by the end of the day.
Nazaha Coalition has observed a number of notes due to their presence in several polling stations. In Qalubia, the observers of the coalition have praised the judges for their cooperation for facilitating the electoral process. As well as a turnout of a great number of voters, to the polling stations in Shubra El Kheima including “Shubra El Kheima Industrial School for Girls, Khalid Bin Al Waleed Preparatory School, Asma Preparatory School for Girls “.
In Fayoum governorate, a delegation from “Nazaha” Coalition visited a number of polling stations in the city of Fayoum and saw a number of peaceful marches in support of the candidate Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in front of the Fayoum Secondary Girls School For West Fayoum “and the school of Mohammed Sabri al-Bakbashi / Committee 8.
On the other hand, the Maat local team of 40 local observers in each governorate continued the observing and evaluating of the electoral process. While the early hours of the observation witnessed a smooth process of voting. A number of committees were delayed to open on time, including the Basion Preparatory School for Girls, Babsion in Gharbia Governorate, and Committee 1 in Hamoul, Preparatory School for Boys in Hamoul & Kafr El-Sheikh Governorate.
A number of local observers have encountered some difficulties in Minya governorate. Some of the observers were delayed in entering the committees despite having the permits of the National Election Commission. In the city of Minya, Mr. Tarek Sayed Mohammed was suspended from entering the electoral committee No. 14 at Mohamed Wahid Habashi Secondary School for Girls, by the security forces, on the grounds that the Maat Foundation was not included in the observatory lists they have, although the observer had an ID from the National Election Commission and is registered by the Maat Foundation. The National Election Commission was contacted to resolve this problem.
The electoral advertising of the candidate Abdel Fattah al-Sisi appeared before several polling stations, also voice amplifiers were calling for citizens to participate in the voting process, as well, the same situation in the Basion Center in Gharbia Governorate, especially at the polling station in the “Religious Institute”, and “Tahrir preliminary school” in Basion. Also some of the streets near the electoral committees in Cairo, witnessed citizens playing songs and dancing and cheering for the President Al Sisi on the tone of the famous song; Bless Hands – Teslm El Ayadi”. This is considered contrary to the Rules of Electoral Silence.
The observers stressed that there was a commitment from the state authorities and they were neutral and the judges are committed to all rules of transparency and integrity, and all the tools related to the electoral process are available within the subcommittees.
Observers also stressed that the voters’ following all the rules is helping making the voting process smooth. Observers pointed out that the largest number of voters were women and the elderly; this is because today is a is an official working day and not a day- off.
“Nazaha” team and all Maat local observers continue to following and evaluating the electoral process to determine the neutrality of the state authorities towards the voting process, as well as evaluating the pros and cons of the electoral process to ascertain the availability of the principles of integrity and freedom in the Egyptian presidential elections 2018.
The Coalition of “Nazaha” asks the officials of the National Elections Commission to communicate rapidly with the observers to resolve their issues, in addition to the importance of intervention of the commission to stop the electoral advertising violation and the usage of loudspeakers in front of polling stations, which may affect the voting process or influence voters.
This post is also available in: العربية