Egypt's Salvation Front demands 11 guarantees for parliamentary polls

Ahram Online, Saturday 12 Jan 2013

The main opposition umbrella calls for the implementation of 11 conditions to ensure fair upcoming parliamentary elections

National Salvation Front founding members Mohamed El-Baradei (L) and Amr Moussa (R) (Photo:Reuters)

The National Salvation Front (NSF) issued a statement Saturday listing eleven conditions necessary to assure fair parliamentary elections:

1. Full judicial supervision: a judge for each ballot box.
2. Holding the elections over a two-day period, on condition that the number of voters for each ballot box doesn’t exceed 750.
3. The vote counting process is to be announced in the presence of the delegates of election candidates in addition to NGOs and media personnel, and for the judge of the polling station to sign the count report and hand it to each delegate.
4. Votes left behind by parties who have not accomplished the minimum required to enter parliament should not be garnered by the party list with the highest number of total votes. They should instead be divided across all party lists depending on the percentage of votes they managed to win.
5. The Supreme Electoral Commission (SEC) must stamp each ballot paper and not depend on signatures by the head of the polling station.
6. Issuing a law allowing NGOs to monitor the elections, and to guarantee that the SEC issues them monitoring permits.
7. Criminalising the use of houses of worship for electoral campaigns, or the mixing of politics and religion in any form.
8. Drawing a limit to the amount of money allowed to be spent on electoral campaigns.
9. Guaranteeing there be a minimum of one female candidate among every three candidates on any given electoral list.
10. The SEC is to be responsible for the electoral process as a whole and to organise the means by which complaints or appeals are submitted on its decisions.
11. All candidates' applications and delegates have to be approved directly by the SEC and not by any other electoral sub-committee. 
The NSF promised to continue the revolution through the ballot box if there is a guarantee elections will be free and fair, adding that if no such guarantees are provided, alternatives will be used.
The statement further stressed that without these guarantees, the coming elections would only be a means to manipulate the will of the people.
Furthermore, the NSF demanded the formation of an unbiased government before announcing the date for the upcoming parliamentary elections.

The National Salvation Front is a recently-formed umbrella group led by former presidential candidates Hamdeen Sabbahi and Amr Moussa, along with reform campaigner and head of the Constitution Party Mohamed ElBaradei.

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