Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Election day

Voting started at 8:00 am local Cairo time and will continue for 14 hours until 22:00 pm. So what should we look for:

Voter turnout - If this election campaign has really changed anything, as claimed by many, voter turnout will be higher than usual. The turnout is about 10 % in the past presidential plebiscites, i would think today´s turnout will be much larger than that.

Monitoring - Indicatations by the judges and NGO`s concerning eventual election fraud. The NGO-monitoring teams will not be permitted to enter the voting stations, but in the past many irregularities happend outside the stations. Another parameter will be if most people who votes are state employes , who have been bussed to the votingstations. This will be a sign of voter apathy.

Election violence - Usually during the parliamentary elections there is always fatal casualties during the campaign and election day. This has not been the case during the presidential referendums until today. The situation in today´s elections resembles the parliamentary elections more than past presidential referendums though. With ten candidates actually campaigning for the first time there is probably going to be some violence, for instance it will be interesting to follow develepments in Bab al Sha´riyya in Cairo, the homeground of Ayman Nour , and in Suez and Port Said, traditional strongholds of al Wafd. During the referendum on the constitutial ammendment of article 76 on the 26 of May (Changing the presidential plebiscate to a multi-candidate presidential election) , two demonstrations by the opposition coalition Kifayya , was attacked by the governing party NDP-thugs, who focused their attention on Women partakeing in the demonstrations. They where sexually assualted and verbally atacked. In late July another Kifayya demonstration was targeted, while protesting after the announcement by President Mubarak, that he would be a candidate for the presidential elections. Several high profile Kifayya leaders where briefly held by the police ,and several activists where arrested. Other Kifayya demonstrations has been targeted as well. Ayman Nours newly established(November 2004) has also been a target , Ayman himself was arrested for 45 days in late January, and then on trail in June, on charges of falsefiying the signatures on the Ghad party application for a party licence, something the political party committee is responsible for in the first place, before approving the party in the first place. The trial is postphoned until after the election. The leadership of the party was targeted in a hotel by plainclothes NDP thughs. One al Ghad supporter was killed during a Ghad party meeting in the countryside. The Muslim brotherhood has been rounded up in numbers unprecidented since the time of Nasser. Among them two of their leaders.
Today ,potential violence might be at the Kifayyademonstration at Midan Tahrir or at voting stations, between police and NGO monitors, eventough it´s seems unlikely. The police have recieved strict orders, but judging from PM Ahmed Nazif´s words yesterday, demonstration will not be tolerated.

Oh, i almost forgotten about the result
President Mubarak NDP 75-80 %
Nouman Gouma 10-12 %
Ayman Nour 7-10 %

The rest between 0-1 %


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6:12 PM  
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10:53 AM  

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