Rights group: If complaints not addressed, referendum voting should be repeated

Local rights groups may appeal to the international community to apply pressure on the Morsy administration to repeat the first round of voting in the constitutional referendum, said Hafez Abu Seada on Monday.

Abu Seada, who is the head of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights and the general coordinator of the Egyptian Alliance to Monitor the Referendum, added that observers from the alliance noted thousands of violations during the first voting round across 10 governorates.

Preliminary indications showed that 57 percent voted for the controversial draft constitution, while 43 percent voted against it.

The second round of voting is scheduled for 22 December in the remaining 17 governorates.

Abu Seada also said the High Elections Committee has not responded to the hundreds of complaints submitted by the alliance.

 “The committee found the irregularities normal,” he said. “It did not bother to investigate the complaints.”

Committee President Zaghloul al-Balshy, however, said he did not receive these complaints.

Abu Seada added that members of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Freedom and Justice Party were seen inside polling stations influencing voters. “They prevented citizens from casting their votes in some Upper Egypt governorates, especially in Christian villages,” he said. “Also, some claimed [falsely] they were judges and took the liberty to supervise the polling stations.”

Khairat al-Shater, the deputy supreme guide of the Brotherhood, cast his vote although there is a court ruling depriving him of exercising his political rights, Abu Seada alleged.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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