Low turnout, glitches in Shura Council elections

Turnout for the Shura Council elections has remained extremely low in the first phase, with an average of 20 people having voted per polling station five hours after the polls opened.

Muslim Brotherhood members stood at polling station doors in Cairo to count voters and report to an operations room set up by the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) to follow the electoral process.

For the first time in Egypt, transparent plastic ballot boxes were used, each with a serial number and a lock. Judges said the boxes were purchased specially for the Shura Council and presidential elections.

Late starts, glitches and minor conflicts were reported at a number of polling stations.

In Shubra, several political parties were seen illegally engaging in publicity in front of polling stations. The FJP, the Egyptian Bloc and several independent candidates distributed leaflets only 20 meters away from Omm al-Momineen School. The FJP displayed a huge banner in front of the Misr al-Islam Hospital to help voters find their polling stations. The Egyptian Bloc displayed a similar banner 100 meters from the polling station at Ahmed Orabi School.

Voter Mohamed Eid said polling stations opened half an hour late, turnout is low, and there are mistakes in polling station numbers and candidates' symbols.

In Fayoum, Mohamed Bakheet, of the Nour Party's Fayoum media committee, said measures had been taken to avoid the mistakes made during the the People's Assembly elections, but several glitches have been reported. He said judges arrived late at several polling stations.

He said one of the officers securing Barany Primary School in Tamya assaulted teachers working in the polling station there after an argument. Officers also clashed with some voters, he said, and security staff are trying to contain the problem while the teachers are filing a report of the incident.

In Daqahliya, most polling stations reportedly opened on time. Despite the presence of joint police and army forces, arguments erupted at a number of stations. Some opened behind schedule due to judges arriving late and arguments between the staff overseeing the election.

At the Idadeya School in Senbellawein, where staff from outside the school were asked to supervise voters' entry into polling stations, the vote only started 10:30 am. The region's military chief and the head of its educational department intervened when judges threatened to cancel the vote.

In Tag al-Moez and Senbellawein, teachers staged a sit-in because external staff were being employed to supervise the elections instead of them, while arguments erupted between teachers at Aboul Akhdar Primary School in Manzala, and a teacher there fired into the air because he had not been given a supervisory role.

In Mansoura, several polling stations opened late.

Related Articles

Back to top button