Rights watchdog urges Egyptian electoral reform

The rights group Observers Without Borders on Sunday called for electoral reform in Egypt, including the adoption of the proportional lists system of elections.

In a concluding statement about its monitoring efforts during the recent parliamentary elections, the NGO said the individual system of election entrenches tribalism and marginalizes political parties. It demanded an amendment of political rights legislation in order to ensure transparency and equal opportunity.

The organization also recommended full judicial oversight throughout the electoral process, reiterating demands for implementing court rulings on polling violations.

The statement requested a greater role for the Court of Cassation in determining the legitimacy of parliament, while also calling for a permanent election administration committee independent from the state’s executive authorities.

The statement suggested the establishment of an elections commission with branches all over the country. It also highlighted the importance of legislating penalties on election violations such as the use of religious slogans and exceeding the financial ceiling for campaigning.

The organization urged the ruling National Democratic Party to cease its political domination and its attempts to gain what it called an “automatic majority” within the parliament. It advised the party to respect the will of voters.

The NGO’s statement also demanded the cancellation of the Ministry of Interior’s role in preparing candidates’ slates, and the transfer of that responsibility to both the High Elections Commission and the Ministry of Justice. It argued that the interior ministry’s participation should be limited to securing polling stations, adding that penalties must be imposed in cases of voter intimidation.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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