NCHR received 216 complaints on first day of Egypt's presidential poll

Ahram Online, Tuesday 27 May 2014

According to a report by Egypt's National Council for Human Rights, violations mostly occurred in Port Said, Kafr El-Sheikh, Suez, Beni Suef and Sohag

An Egyptian woman holding a poster of Abdel-Fatah El-Sisi in a polling station in Cairo (Photo: courtesy of Constitution party's official Facebook page)

Egypt's National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) revealed on Tuesday that it received 216 complaints on the first day of the Egyptian presidential polls, Al-Ahram's Arabic news website reported.

The semi-governmental organisation said it reported 151 complaints to the Presidential Electoral Commission (PEC), the judicial body overseeing the voting process, which will take the necessary procedures.

According to the NCHR report, violations predominantly occurred in the governorates of Port Said, Kafr Al-Sheikh, Suez, Beni Suef and Sohag.

On Monday 26 May, the first of the two-day poll, the NCHR dispatched seven groups to observe polling stations in the Cairo, Giza, Alexandria, Suez, Qalioubiya, Beheira and North Sinai governorates.

The first day of voting was quieter and more peaceful than many national elections in Egypt have been in the last few years. One IED exploded near a polling station in Fayoum but led to no injuries, while police said another six were defused in three locations including Giza and Kafr El-Sheikh.

There were also some isolated clashes between security forces and supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, who argue the election is illegitimate. Police dispersed protests in Cairo, Alexandria and Minya, among other places.

The pro-Morsi National Alliance in Support of Legitimacy, meanwhile, released a statement saying that many Egyptians had boycotted the vote.

Today was declared a public holiday for government employees, according to a ministerial announcement last night, in an attempt to boost voter turnout. The PEC has also announced that voting will be extended by an hour today, to 10pm.

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