Egypt's Sabahi campaign to meet PEC to discuss election appeal

MENA, Ahram Online, Saturday 31 May 2014

Defeated candidate Hamdeen Sabahi's campaign says Presidential Election Commission must review its appeal before presidential inauguration is discussed

Presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi
Hamdeen Sabahi speaks to the media while waiting to cast his vote in Mohandiseen (Photo courtesy of Sabahi campaign Facebook page)

Presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi’s legal team will speak Saturday to Egypt’s Presidential Election Commission (PEC) regarding an appeal filed earlier over the presidential elections results, MENA reported.

Egypt’s presidential elections, held 26 to 28 May, witnessed a sweeping victory of former military chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.

Unofficial results show El-Sisi garnering around 96 percent of the vote, with over 23 million voters casting their ballots for him. Invalid votes — or spoilt ballots — exceeded one million, higher than the votes for Sabahi, who garnered around 800,000 votes, or 3.5 percent. Turnout was around 47 percent, according to PEC.

The Sabahi campaign’s appeal includes violations documented by the campaign, including campaigning for El-Sisi inside polling stations and outside, which violates PEC’s laws and regulations.

Tarek Negeeda, head of the legal committee in Sabahi’s campaign, told MENA the appeal calls for cancelling the results in polling stations where violations took place. It also calls for the recount of votes in some polling stations due to errors that led to Sabahi having fewer votes.

The campaign questioned PEC’s decision to extend the voting process by one day, and demanded that votes cast on the third and extra day, which are recorded by polling stations, be not counted.

Sabahi’s campaign withdrew its representatives from all polling stations after the second day of voting, following PEC's decision to extend the elections by a further day.

Negeeda also said the petition demanded examining polling station records to make sure that the number of voters does not contradict the results announced. It also called for spoilt votes to be re-examined to make sure that all of them are indeed invalid.

Sabahi representatives allege that voters were directed by polling station supervisors or employees to choose a specific candidate over the other.

Negeeda told MENA that talk of the date and ceremonial details of the new president's inauguration is “premature” and won’t happen until PEC reviews the appeal filed by the Sabahi campaign.

PEC is scheduled to announce the official results of the presidential poll early this coming week.

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