Judges form parallel committee to monitor presidential contest

The vice president of the Court of Cassation said the integrity of the presidential election set for Wednesday and Thursday is secure, and that judges would form an independent, parallel committee to monitor the poll.

Ahmed Mekky said historically Egyptian elections, whether parliamentary or presidential, are rigged by a direct presidential order. He added that Egypt has never had fair elections aside from 1924 under King Fouad, 1950 and 1951 under King Farouk, and 1976 under President Anwar Sadat, saying that those rulers wanted elections to be fair.

“Judicial supervision exposes fraud,” Mekky said. He said in 2005, when former President Hosni Mubarak wanted to rig parliamentary elections, Egyptian judges threatened to involve the army.

“And the army was against rigging the will of the people,” he added.

He stressed that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces would not rig the upcoming contest. “This is against the nature of the Egyptian army,” he said.

Judge Zakaria Abdel Aziz, who initially proposed the idea of a parallel judicial monitoring committee, said its purpose would be to further reassure those who have lost confidence in the elections since 1952.

The committee, which comprises 300 judges, would ask the judges tasked with supervising polling stations to sign and seal ballots, allow the media and civil society organizations to monitor all stages of the electoral process, and verify voters’ identities, especially since the names of some deceased citizens and army and police personnel legally prohibited from voting remain on registered voting lists.

Abdel Aziz also said the parallel committee would form a movement called “We Are Monitoring It” in collaboration with civil society organizations, and then give the monitoring results to the media.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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