Integrity Coalition issues its brief report to assess the electoral campaign phase
Violations of the popular campaigns in support of President Sisi and a formal commitment to neutrality
The Integrity Coalition recommends developing mechanisms for estimating informal campaign spending
The Integrity Coalition continued the propaganda phase of the Egyptian presidential elections, which were officially concluded on the evening of the twenty-third of March 2018. This phase lasted nearly a month, during which it stopped for about five days, coinciding with the vote of Egyptians abroad.
The Nazaha coalition, which is made up of organizations: Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights (Egypt), Volunteers Without Borders (Lebanon), and Ecumenism for Human Rights (Switzerland), relied in its follow-up to the electoral process on two main components, the first of which is the local followers of the Maat Foundation for Peace, Development and Human Rights as a partner. The local coalition, and the second element is the push for a limited group of international followers of the coalition during the last days of the electoral campaign phase.
The follow-up process focused on assessing the legislative context related to the electoral campaigning phase, and monitoring the most prominent practices carried out by the candidates and the concerned state agencies during this phase, to demonstrate their compatibility with the relevant laws and recognized international standards for free and fair elections.
The electoral campaign phase came in line with the timetable prepared by the National Elections Authority, which determined the start of the electoral silence phase on March 24-25, in which all propaganda activities for presidential candidates are prohibited, before moving on to the critical phase, which is the phase of domestic voting, which is scheduled for 26 days. , 27-28 of March.
The electoral campaigning stage witnessed a great discrepancy between the activities of the candidates for the presidency of the republic, while the streets and squares across the republic were filled with various forms of propaganda in support of President Sisi who is running for a second term, the propaganda presented by the candidate Musa Mustafa, head of the Al-Ghad Party, is very limited, while All governorates of the republic witnessed dozens of conferences and seminars held by supporters of President Sisi without his participation in them, in addition to the extensive spread of propaganda banners in most of Egypt's main and side squares and streets.
The coalition did not receive or monitor complaints from candidates or their electoral campaigns in contravention of electoral rules or deliberate restrictions on holding activities announcing the visions and programs of the candidates. The coverage of state-owned television channels and newspapers was largely neutral, while most of the private media outlets aligned with the candidate Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. Some opposition media, which broadcast from outside Egypt, were busy promoting a boycott of the electoral process.
Although the electoral competition appears to be uneven, and matters are almost settled in favor of President Al-Sisi, we have observed, throughout the electoral campaign period, a number of legal violations of the rules governing the electoral process, the most prominent of which is the participation of members and executives in conferences and events in support of a particular candidate, which is what It is an explicit violation of the Law on the Exercise of Political Rights, No. 45 of 2014, and the Presidential Elections Law, which prohibited the exploitation of the powers of the public office in the election campaign of a particular candidate, which may negatively or positively affect the outcome of the electoral process.
A number of political parties and parliamentarians undertook the implementation of most of the activities in support of President Sisi. Despite this, a number of executives participated in such events, headed by Major General Mr. Nasr, Governor of Kafr El Sheikh, and Major General Mahmoud Ashmawy, Governor of Qalyubia. It violates the rules governing the elections, and puts President Al-Sisi in an embarrassing position, despite his lack of connection with these events.
In the same context, some churches, especially in the governorates of Upper Egypt, witnessed activities to support President Sisi, with the participation of church men and representatives in Parliament, which is prohibited by law to exploit places of worship and use religious slogans in support of a specific candidate, as well as a number of activities were launched within the state's youth centers, which led It is considered exploitation of government facilities in violation of the laws governing the electoral process. On the other hand, some of the violating activities were to hang banners on the walls and facades of government buildings, including post offices, in front of police stations, youth centers, and others.
It is worth noting that all propaganda activities that included violations of this kind were organized by popular parties supporting the president without directive or direct interference from him or his presidential campaign, but of course they required the intervention of forces from the National Elections Authority and the local authorities concerned, but that was not Happen or occur .
The presidential elections this year come under the supervision of the National Elections Authority for the first time, which is overseeing the entire electoral process, through judicial supervision consisting of 18,000 and 620 judges, whether judges or from the Public and Administrative Prosecution, the State Cases Authority, and the State Council. The headquarters of the electoral commissions are 13 thousand, 706 electoral committees, while the number of public committees is 367. It is reported that the total number of registered voters 59 million 78 thousand and 138 voters are those who have the right to vote and participate in the electoral process.
It is worth noting that the official messages that were broadcast through state agencies focused on promoting the idea of participation and adhering to the right to vote without referring to support for a specific candidate, but irregularities and directives to vote for a candidate came through informal campaigns and media outlets.
The coalition estimates that the electoral campaign manifestations carried out by popular campaigns that are not structurally affiliated with any of the candidates have exceeded the spending and financing limits legally estimated at 20 million pounds, and the coalition here refers to the practical difficulties facing the National Elections Commission in estimating and controlling this kind of spending.
In the future, the coalition recommends the need to develop legal tools and means to control electoral spending by unofficial parties and establish a mechanism for calculating it as non-cash donations for the benefit of candidates. On the other hand, the coalition recommends the need for local authorities to play their role in controlling and removing violating advertising that uses government facilities, as well as the need to increase the period Electoral propaganda and investigation of the participation of executive officials in some popular events in support of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.