Female candidates start hunger strike in Luxor

Salma El-Wardani , Tuesday 30 Nov 2010

Two female candidates that participated in Sunday's parliamentary elections have gone on hunger strike protesting election fraud

Rawya Al- Sahabby, an Ahrar party candidate and head of Al-Masaa's local newspaper office in Luxor, and Sayeda Rashed, an independent candidate and member of the local council of the city of Luxor -- now based in Luxor General Hospital -- stated today that they haven’t eaten for two days to protest parliamentary election fraud in their governorate.

"These are not elections! Fraud and injustice are the right words," says Al-Sahabby, "Our supporters were denied entry in most of the polling stations in Luxor, Armant and Isna."

Both candidates stated they personally witnessed vote-buying bids. They filed complaints with Luxor's Commission on Elections on Sunday, protesting the election results and accusing the stations of bias against non-NDP candidates.

"There was a clear violation of the law in Sunday`s elections. The two NDP quota winners were already exchanging congratulations seven hours before the official results were announced,"  says Al-Sahaby "If everything is staged and the results are predetermined then why are they organinzing nationwide elections and why all the to-do?"

The governorate of Luxor has witnessed a furious competition between female candidates, 17 from the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP), 11 from the opposition parties, including Al-Ahrar, Al-Tagammu, and Al-Araby Al-Nassery, and 10 independent candidates.

"We`ll continue this strike until either they recount the votes, or we die here," says Rashed in a very weak voice "We prefer to die than live without dignity."


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