Violations from both candidates supporters: Egyptian human rights group

Salma Shukrallah, Saturday 16 Jun 2012

Campaigning, group voting and clashes were the most prominent violations of the first day of Egypt's crutial presidential runoff

 The Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights (EOHR) released a statement summarising violations observed on the first day of the second round presidential elections run-offs. Main violations involved breaking electoral rules on campaigning, group voting, and clashes between candidate supporters.

The report stated that observers witnessed group voting in the governorates of Cairo, Miniya and Damietta in favour of Mohamed Morsi. Candidate supporters also clashed in the Qalyoubeia, North Sinai and Qena governorates.

Candidate supporters of both Morsi and Ahmed Shafiq were seen directing constituents to vote for their candidate at the polling stations. Campaigners for Morsi were also seen campaigning, according to the report.

Several administrative and organisational problems were also observed, reported the EOHR.

Hafez Abu Seada, head of the EOHR and the main coordinator of the Egyptian Federation for Election Observation, stated that group voting is considered a clear violation of the electoral process and warned against its use by any presidential campaign. Abu Seada also stated that clashes between candidate supporters are criminalised under Article 44 of the law on political participation.

According to Abu Seada, the closure of polling stations in the presence of voters, observed in several governorates, is a "clear violation of the regulations" instituted by the Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission, and violated voter rights, according to local and international electoral standards.

Abu Seada called upon SPEC to start an immediate investigation and take appropriate measures against such violations.

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