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 Project Rakeeb - Second Round - First Statement

14-12-2011, 18:56

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Project Rakeeb - Second Round - First Statement

 

First Interim Statement

December 14, 2011, 2:00 p.m

 

Project Rakeeb notes continued inconsistencies

in election practices, denial of access to accredited observers

Continued reports of active political campaigning,

late opening of polling stations in some districts

 

Project Rakeeb is joint collaboration between two Egyptian civil society organizations – the Egyptian Association for Community Participation Enhancement (EACPE) and the Egyptian Association for Development and Dissemination of Legal Awareness (EADDLA).  

 

For the first day of the second round of voting in the People’s Assembly Elections, Project Rakeeb deployed 471 non-partisan citizen observers in all nine governorates where elections are taking place.  Rakeeb observers were deployed to a statistically-sound, random and representative sample of polling stations and have been sending observation reports via text message to a Central Data Center in Cairo.   


Opening Time

Percentage

Before 9 AM

91%

Between 9 and 11 AM

9%

After 11 AM

>0%

Project Rakeeb has found that the vast majority of polling stations opened prior to 9 AM.  However, some polling stations opened late due to the late arrival of polling officials or sensitive materials, such as ballot papers, ink, or voters’ lists.  Below is a breakdown of the opening times: 


Notably, in Giza, 16 percent of polling stations where observers were deployed opened after 9 AM. 


In a trend from the first round, Project Rakeeb observers continued to be denied access or expelled from polling stations despite having received accreditation.  In most cases, observers have been expelled by judicial supervisors however in two cases observers were denied access by armed forces personnel.  The expulsion of observers by armed forces personnel constitutes a flagrant interference in the electoral process and undermines the integrity of the process and the independence of the election authorities.


In another trend from the first round, Project Rakeeb observers have continued to report active campaigning by political contestants in and around polling centers.  Positively, Project Rakeeb noted that security personnel in Ismailiya actively prevented Freedom and Justice Party representatives from campaigning around polling stations. 

 

Qualitative Indicators

Based on data gathered from 95 percent of observers who reported on the opening and set up of polling stations, Project Rakeeb found that where observers were deployed:


Findings

Percentage

Ballot Boxes Locked / Sealed

82%

Presence of Indelible Ink

99%

Security Personnel Inside Stations

38%

Avg. # of Party / Candidate Agents

3-4


Critical Incidents

As of 2 PM, although there have been relatively few incidents of violence or intimidation, there have been a number of critical incidents that Rakeeb observers have reported:


  • 48 Rakeeb observers have either been denied access or expelled from polling stations, including 10 cases in Giza and 10 cases in Beni Suef; 
  • 56 incidents of active campaigning by political contestants in and around polling stations, including 12 cases in Beheira;
  • 26 incidents of the presence of campaign materials inside polling stations, most often of Freedom and Justice Party and Nour Party, and 2 reported incidents of the presence of campaign materials of individual candidates;
  • 10 incidents of political party representatives using religious slogans to influence voters;
  • 6 incidents of political party or candidate agents being expelled from polling stations; 
  • 3 incidents of vote buying, including 2 in Menoufiya and 1 in Giza;
  • 2 incidents of circular voting in Beheira;  and
  • 4 incidents of violence, including 2 in Beheira.

Project Rakeeb calls upon the Supreme Judicial Committee for Elections (SJCE) to uphold its commitment to address inconsistencies and errors in first round.  Specifically, Project Rakeeb recommends SJCE:


  • Ensure that observers who have been accredited by the SJCE are guaranteed access to polling stations in accordance with the Code of Conduct, international election standards and regulations of the SJCE itself;
  • Ensure that security officials are acting in accordance with the law and not interfering in the work of the SJCE.  Armed forces interference has a negative impact on the credibility and transparency of the election process and undermines SJCE authority;  and
  • Use its authority to prevent campaigning in and around polling centers;


Project Rakeeb also calls upon all political parties to refrain from active political campaigning and cease use of religious slogans in accordance with Egyptian law.


Project Rakeeb commends voters on their participation in the second round of elections, despite confusion in three proportional representation districts on the eve of the second round of elections.  


For more information about Project Rakeeb, please visit the website:  

www.rakeeb.net

 

 

 
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