April 6 launches election monitoring campaign

The April 6 Youth Movement announced on Wednesday that it will spearhead an election observation campaign for the presidential election on 23 and 24 May.

The movement called on all citizens to report elections violations.

The campaign, “Oyoun Masr” (Egypt’s Eyes), will rely on photos taken by citizens that show elections violations. The photos will be uploaded to the Oyoun Masr website. 

April 6 Youth Movement member Enjy Hamdy said the initiative defies the restrictions put in place by the Presidential Elections Commission. She added that the group is anxious to train volunteers from Cairo and other governorates on elections monitoring in order to prevent vote rigging.

In addition to collecting voting-related complaints, Hamdy said April 6 activists will be present at polling stations nationwide to document violations, including vote buying, illegal campaigning, religious propaganda, polling station closure and violence.

Another monitoring campaign, “Shaifenko” (We Are Watching You), will also participate in elections monitoring. Media presenter Bothaina Kamel, a campaign member, said during a press conference at the Journalists Syndicate on Wednesday that the campaign will challenge impediments imposed by the elections commission.

Activist Nejad al-Boraie, another member, said the campaign has been working independently since its launch in 2005. “We decided to operate outside of the PEC rules, which we consider to be unfair and to encourage fraud,” he said.

“The only guarantee for fair elections is popular observation,” he added.

The regime of former President Hosni Mubarak used to shun calls for foreign observation under the pretext of protecting state sovereignty against foreign interventions. The same mantra was maintained following Mubarak’s ouster last year by the ruling military council.

In late April, the elections commission said it would allow Egyptian civil society organizations and some international elections monitoring groups to observe the election.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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