Sabahi's campaign complains of 'state's bias'

Ahram Online, Wednesday 2 Apr 2014

The campaign backing Nasserist candidate Hamdeen Sabahi says its members were assaulted at notary offices, where employees were not neutral regarding the presidential race

Hamdeen Sabahi's official presidential campaign says that violations have continued against its members at several notary offices nationwide, accusations that also blamed "state apparatuses" of being biased.

"Sabahi's campaign has closely followed the details of the farce that has been happening over the past three days in front of notary offices in governorates, which clearly exposed a lack of neutrality from state apparatuses regarding the electoral process," read the statement issued late Wednesday.

The violations included, according to the statement, the assaulting of campaign members, workers at notary offices not being neutral in terms of the race and the now-defunct National Democratic Party (NDP) of longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak mobilising its members across several governorates.

The group further held the government and the justice ministry responsible for "neutrality" in the electoral process. It also requested that the interior ministry secure the notary offices and citizens who are being subjected to assault.

This is not the first complaint to be voiced by the campaign backing the Nasserist candidate.

On Monday, the campaign said that some recommendation forms were processed without the physical presence of their signatories.

Presidential hopefuls are required to gather a minimum of 25,000 notarised recommendation forms, signed by at least 1,000 signatories from 15 different governorates, to be eligible to run.

The statement also said signatories backing a "certain candidate" were mobilised in private buses and that numerous employees at notary offices refused to register forms for Sabahi.

They added that posters of the "presidential contester" to Sabahi were hung inside a notary office – referring to former army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, the presidential contender many expect will win the elections.

Following three weeks of campaigning to begin on 3 May, Egyptians will vote in the first round of the election on 26-27 May.

The results of the first round of voting will be released on 5 June, the Supreme Electoral Committee said in a press conference on Sunday.

Sabahi finished third in the first round of the 2012 presidential elections with 4.8 million votes.


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