In statements to Ahram Online, Farid Zahran, a leading member of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party (ESDP) accused the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists of committing wide-scale violations of the parliamentary vote, including ballot stuffing.
Zahran expressed his shock that the Brotherhood, which had suffered repression and vote rigging in previous elections, should now pursue the same tactics that were used against them by the Mubarak regime, to improve the electoral lot of their Freedom and Justice Party (FJP).
According to Zahran, fully veiled women supporters of the FJP and the Salafist parties have been refusing to reveal their faces or to dip their fingers in phosphoric ink, which allows to vote more than once. They have also been harassing non-veiled women.
Zahran also accused the MB of stuffing ballots in several voting stations in Luxor, Aswan and Fayoum. In some of these constituencies they also barred Coptic citizens from entering the polling stations to cast their votes.
The most prevalent violation of polling rules by the Islamist parties, according to Zahran, is their continuing campaigning in front of polling stations in open violation of the ban on campaigning 48 hours before the vote.
Thousands of MB “youth volunteers”, accuses Zahran, who have entered polling stations around the country ostensibly to help illiterate voters cast their ballots are directing these voters to vote for the FJP.
The poor organization of the voting process, the lack of sufficient balloting papers, the late opening of voting stations, says Zahran, have all contributed to irregularities that have already marred Egypt’s first post-Mubarak elections.