Egypt: Gender Perspective on Fraudulent Parliamentary Elections

Nazra & The Guardian

During the day, election-related violence claimed at least eight lives. Early results from the poll – described by domestic and international observers as "breathtaking" in its levels of fraud – suggest that the ruling National Democratic party (NDP) has captured 96% of the seats, while the 88 opposition members from the Muslim Brotherhood, could be erased to zero. 

The Independent Coalition for Election Observation includes three non-governmental organizations:  Egyptian Association for Community Participation Enhancement (EACPE), Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS), and Nazra Association for Feminist Studies. Throughout the electoral process, EACPE has monitored the situation on the ground through an extensive network of field monitors, CIHRS has been observing the media, and Nazra has been monitoring women both as voters and candidates in general seats and women quota seats.

The Independent Coalition for Election Observation found the following on Election day:  

1. Because employees supervising the electoral process had limited knowledge about the women’s quota system, inaccurate information was given to women about the system 

2. The ballot cards for the quota were not clear 

3. Female candidates, particularly those of the NDP, are guilty of the same violations (violence, fraudulent ballot cards) as male candidates. 

4. The majority of women supported male candidates. The majority of those who supported female candidates were Muslim Brotherhood members 

5. There was a large presence of female thugs who terrorized both women and men 

Cairo governorate 

Abdeen constituency

· At the Mohamed Fareed school polling station, candidates Tala't el Qawas ( NDP-professional) and Ragab Helal Hemida (Ghad- labor) bribed voters with 50 to 70 pounds to vote in their favor. 

Kaser el Nile constituency 

· At the Kaser el Dobara polling station, collective voting took place in favor of NDP candidates Dr Madiha Khatab (professional) and Hanan el Saiedy (labor) for the women’s quota seats. 

El Saf and Tebeen constituency 

· At the May 15 polling center, it was not confirmed whether ballot boxes for the women’s quota seats were empty at the start of voting. Moreover, women were rebuked by security personnel at this center. 

Madina Nasser constituency

· Muslim Brotherhood candidate Manal Abu el Hassan (professional) filed a case to the administrative court) because she found a "revolving ballot card " on Asma Fahmy street in Misr el Gedida 

Dokki constituency 

· Starting at 11 am, MB female supporters were blocked from entering the polling stations at the Hoda Sharawy school. At 5:30 pm, security officials in plain clothes verbally assaulted and attacked a young woman.

· A representative for the candidate Mahomud el Saqqa (Wafd- professional –Dokki), was allowed to vote, but then dismissed from the polling station with the pretext that her proxy (written authorization to act as a candidate’s representative) should be registered at the police station.  When she showed her proxy, the police officer insulted her and threatened to beat her, then when she went to the police station they refused to issue her a proxy.

· At 5pm a representative for Mahmoud el Saqqa was dismissed from a polling station because she objected to the fraud she witnessed.  

Helwan constituency 

· At the  Helwan el Balad school, female voters engaged in collective voting for independent candidate Mostafa Baky (professional). Moreover, supporters of Baky were providing electoral bribes of 50 pounds to female voters.   

Shubra constituency 

· At some women-only polling stations, there were male representatives present. In addition, some women could not vote because they Presence of male representatives in women committees and some female voters could not vote because they found their names as it is already voted 

Alexandria governorate 

Minya el Basal constituency 

· Female voters were not allowed to enter the polling stations 

· The buses of the water company (public bus 1250, public bus180)  and the bus of the electricity company in Alexandria (public bus 320) transferred female voters to poll stations to vote for NDP candidate Nadia Abdu (professional- women quota seat)

· In Ithad Gumhoryat in Ghorbal, female voter Sabah Mohamed el Sayed went to poll station 25 to vote only to find that somebody had already voted on her behalf. When she complained to the head of the poll station, he dismissed her and she complained to the observer of the coalition

Fayoum governorate 

Bander Sonorus constituency  

· There were pre-marked cards in the women committee in Beni Osman in favor of Azza Hawas (NDP-professional-women quota seat) and Ahlam Ragab Kamal Ghanim (independent-labor-women quota seat)

· Female voters were dismissed and men marked the ballot cards in the Bani Osman polling station 

· Female voters in the poll station of Tamia center , Salah Salem mixed preparatory school ( a women’s only station) voted collectively in favor of MB candidate Nagwa Gouda ( professional- women quota seat)

· Female voters were transported in cars and three-wheelers (tuk-tuk) to the martyr Salah el Din Hussien school –women committee – in Bander Sonoros and in Auois Aliwa mixed perperatory school in Sinhour village, the home town of the candidate Alhussian Aliwa , past member of the parliament 2005 (NDP- professional)

· There were attempts by supporters of NDP candidates (professional-women quota seat) Azza Hawas and Aisha Abd el Tawab in Alhuissa Aliwa (labor-women quota seat)  to mark ballots cards in their favor. 

· The polling station at the Awious school was broken into by male supporters of the Muslim Brother, even though this station was exclusively for female voters. 

Behira governorate

Markaz and Bandar Damnhour 

· Several microbuses with thugs carrying swords and guns surrounded polling stations at Gaber el Ghazaly, Radwan school and the Mo'alemat school to terrorize female voters. 

· The Tagamou candidate Aisha abu Samda (labor –women quota seat) complained to the coalition about fraud in the polling stations of Dasones , Markaz Damnhour constituency 

· Muslim Brotherhood candidate Manal Ismail (professional-women quota seat) filed a complaint to the High Commission of elections that there has been marking of ballots cards against her in Moaz ibn Gabal school 

Kafer el Dawar constituency  :

· Supporters of Wafd candidate Zaky Amer (professional) broke into poll station 212 (female only station) in Manshyat Amer school, marked the ballot cards in favor of the candidate, and physically attacked some female voters. 

· Muslim Brotherhood candidate Manal Ismail filed a petition (professional –women quota seat) detailing all the violations that she faced as well as the closure of the poll stations from 215 to 224 at noon.

Gharbia governorate

· The female only polling stations in Ferier school and Notre Dame school were closed by security officials and thugs.  Female thugs were present in front of the schools 

· All representatives were dismissed out of the Sayda Zeinab school (female only station) and female thugs attacked the candidate Abduelhalim Hilal (MB- professional- Samanoud constituency ) with shoes.  

· Sadat school (female only station) was closed and there was marking for ballot cards in favor of NDP Mahmoud Shamy (professional-NDP- Mahla constituency)

· Independent candidate Iman el Bawab (professional-women quota seat) complained that she faced fraud and there was marking of ballot cards in Salah Galal el Deeb. Her complaints were not investigated by the authorities 

· The candidate Zahra el Feqy complained to the coalition that all her representatives were dismissed from the polls.  

· The majority of the female voters carried banners of NDP male candidates not the female candidates 

· In the poll station of Sayada Aisha girls school –women committee- Mahala constituency, a woman wearing a burqa was beaten because she reported fraud. 

· A pregnant woman was beaten so badly in front of Mit Habib school that it caused a miscarriage. 

· Aly Abdel Raouf Mahny , a representative of MB candidate Dr Suzan Saad Zaghlol (professional- women quota seat), went to the polls with his proxy, but it was not approved. When he insisted on entering, security officials dismissed him from the polling station and thugs affiliated with the NDP attacked him with a knife.  He attempted to file a case in the Arbeen police station, but the authorities ignored his request claiming that the police officer in charge is not present.  

Suez governorate

· Rasha Mohamed and Maha Tawfiq, monitors for the civil society organization Ibn Khaldoun Center, were arrested

· Female voters were not allowed to enter poll stations at the Omar Makram school, unless they had pink electoral cards and they were affiliated with the NDP 

· Female thugs threw oil on the female voters 

· Female voter Hind Mahmoud Mohamed was dismissed from the polling station with the pretext that her name was not on the voter list.  

· After the sister of independent candidate Elqadry Raslan (professional) voted, she tried to stay at the polling station as a representative  but the police officer threatened to beat her and said, "there are female thugs if you insist "

· Asma Mohamed Salah, was not allowed to be a representative for MB candidate Suzan Saad Zaghlol (professional)

· Female voters complained that there was only one ballot card and the quota seat ballot card did not exist

Assiout governorate

· In the majority of the polling stations in this governorate , the quota seat ballot card was not clear, smaller than the regular ballot card, and the number of the candidates and their electoral symbols were not clear 

· Because of the lack of  knowledge about the quota system , many voters did not vote for the quota seat

More information on the monitoring results of the three election phases (candidate registration, campaigning period, and election day) available here