In her post-election press conference today, parliamentary contender Gamila Ismail said she was satisfied with the 1300 votes she won, explaining that this was "half of what her NDP competitors were able to win with all the fraud and bribes they have invested”.
Ismail - the ex-wife of 2005 presidential candidate and Ghad party leader Ayman Nour - described the electoral battle of Qasr Al Nil as one of “delicate corruption”. Unlike other rural and working class constituencies where violence and thuggery were rampant, Ismail said that in the "refined" area of Qasr Al Nil, "more subtle ways were used".
The former TV presenter and co-founder of the opposition Al Ghad party said that the rigging scene in her constituency involved “elegant people in front of cleaned up schools. What happened with me was very harsh although it looked very refined from the outside”.
Ismail, who had opted to run as an independent rather than contest one of the 64 seats allocated for women in this year's election, said she was pleased to see that new faces were joining the election process and voting. “I was happy to see the honest voices coming from Zamalek, Garden City and Mounira," said Ismail, referring to her constituency, much of which is an upper-middle class residential area.
The modish Ismail, who has been criticised for using her looks to woo voters, was backed by several grass-roots groups and movements, including the 6th of April movement, the Youth for Justice and Freedom group, and the Ghad party.
Ismail had previously renounced the 64-seat women's quota, saying it was a tool created by the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) to further manipulate the elections and win more seats by fielding their own women for those 64.
The NDP made a sweeping victory in the first round of this year's elections, taking 217 seats. Opposition candidates took just five seats in this first round and Independents three, with 283 candidates - largely NDP - contesting in the run-offs next Sunday.