Protest over election results in front of the journalists Syndicate

Yasmine Fathi , Saturday 4 Dec 2010

A protest was held today in front of the Journalists Syndicate against election rigging and the failure of several journalists to secure seats parliament, calling for a rerun with judicial supervision

 The protest was organised by the syndicate's Freedom Committee, headed by Mohamed Abdel Kodous.

On the stairs of the syndicate building, Abdel Kodous acted as anchor, giving the loudspeaker to media personalities, who one by one spoke about the lack of transparency in the Egyptian legislative elections.

Abdel Kodous called the elections, "the worst in Egyptian history," and "an international scandal in every way".

The protest was attended by approximately 100 supporters from a variety of pro-change movements, including Kefaya, the Egyptian Movement for Change, established in 2004 and the Democratic Popular Movement, Hashd.

Protestors held banners with photos of Hamdeen Sabahi, one of the founders of El-Karama Party and editor of its newspaper who lost in El-Hamoul and Brollous constituency in the northern governorate of Kafr El-Sheikh, and Mustafa Bekry, editor of the El-Osbou weekly newspaper who lost his seat in Helwan to Sayed Meshel, minister of military production.

Among those who spoke were Bakry, El-Badry Farghaly, former member of the Tagammu Party, Mohsen Rady, former Muslim Brotherhood MP who lost his seat in Kalyoubia, Mustafa Sherdy, member of the Wafd Party who was running for a seat in Port Said, Mohamed El-Beltagi, Brotherhood candidate for Shubra El-Kheima, and Manal Abu Hassan, Brotherhood candidate, who lost in Nasr City to Sameh Fahmy minister of petroleum.

"We are here to say No to the National UnDemocratic Party," Abdel Kodous told the crowd. "We are here to say No one thousand times to election rigging and … No to the failure of our colleagues, the journalists, who failed to win seats in this parliament."

Bakry told the crowd that what happened in his constituency in Helwan was a "disaster," and said that the results the Higher Elections Committee (HEC) announced did not make sense.

"For Meshel to win he needed 20,808 votes, but what he got was 20,332; to this extent they go against the people's will; to this extent they disregard the people's voice," Bakry said.

El-Beltagi, who also spoke at the gathering, said that the opposition demands that the election should be reran, this time with judicial supervision, international monitoring and the presence of civil society. He also added that the elections were null and void because the HEC disregarded 1,200 rulings by the Administrative Court.

"We will take all the legal, international, constitutional, political and public measures necessary to ensure that the parliament is proclaimed null," El-Beltagi said.

The group also announced that several protests are being organised to coincide with the second round runoffs tomorrow.

Sherdy told the crowd that this is the third time he runs for parliament and that the rigging that took place this time exceeded all other times.

Protestors also chanted against the Tagammu Party and its chairman Rifaat El-Said for its decision to compete in the runoffs. Protestors accused El-Said of taking bribes and making an underhand deal with the government.

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