Category Archives: Elections

With unprecedented turnout, Qena voters challenge tradition

Unfortunately, I couldn’t go to Qena to vote. However, I wrote this quick report about the first day of the election there.

Residents reported high voter turnout Tuesday in the Upper Egyptian governorate of Qena, a governorate that has recently witnessed unprecedented political debate, especially among its youth which aims to sideline the tribal and family influences that usually dominate elections there.

Qena is divided into two constituencies for party list-based seats, which 176 candidates are contesting, and three constituencies for single-winner seats, which 234 candidates are contesting.

“What’s new about these elections is that we’re discussing the future of our governorate. People are fed up with the issues of families and tribes. They don’t do anything for the people. Now we should try the political parties,” Amgad Seoudi, a 28-year-old unemployed Qena resident, told Egypt Independent in a phone interview. Continue reading

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Turnout for elections in Giza ‘unprecedented’

Poorer and rural areas of Giza have seen a high turnout for the second phase of parliamentary elections, with most voters calling the numbers at polling stations on Wednesday “unprecedented”.

This has been the case with the first constituency (Giza is divided into two constituencies for party lists), which contains four large, urban working-class areas in addition to six rural areas.

In the neighborhood of Haram, long lines of voters stood in front of the polling station at Thaniwiya al-Ziraeiya School.

Members of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party stood outside the polling station to provide voters with information on how to vote. Ahmed Abdel Hakeem, an activist with the FJP, told Egypt Independent that they are not campaigning. Continue reading

High elections committee publicizes comprehensive vote tally

AAP photo

The high elections committee on Sunday released a comprehensive tally of votes in Egypt’s recent parliamentary poll, the first phase of which was held on Monday and Tuesday.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) led the polls. It won 40 percent of the vote, while the Salafi Nour Party achieved 20 percent and the secular Egyptian Bloc secured 15 percent. The liberal Wafd Party won 6 percent, while the moderate Islamist Wasat party won 4 percent. Continue reading

Islamist parties poised to do well in run-offs

AP Photo

Islamist parties are expected to sweep the first phase of the elections after the run-offs scheduled to take place on Monday.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) is leading the polls with around 40 percent of the vote, according to a statement issued by the party on Saturday.

HRW: SCAF curbs on free press, assembly before poll

On the eve of landmark elections, the international human rights watch dog “Human Rights Watch” has issued a lengthy statement documenting the “repeated violations of free expression and free assembly” in Egypt.

The New York-based group has said in a statement entitled “Egypt: Curbs on Free Press, Assembly Before Poll”:

Ahead of the vote, SCAF should cancel emergency laws that curb assembly and allow for mass detention without charge or trial, order an end to military trials, stop harassment of bloggers and other critics of the government, and permit free, peaceful assembly.

Wasat Party: Constitution already secures state’s religious identity

The moderate Islamist Wasat Party announced on Tuesday the final wording of its parliamentary electoral platform, saying there will be no changes to the provisions that regulate the relationship between religion and the state.

Among the Islamists, only the Wasat Party has announced publicly that it will not call for any additional provisions in the next constitution that regulate the relationship between the state and religion. The constitution is scheduled to be drafted after the parliamentary elections.

Wasat spokesperson Tarek al-Malt told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the party believes the clauses of the frozen 1971 Constitution, which are also in the Interim Constitution, that designate Islam the state religion and Sharia the main source of legislation are sufficient to protect the Egypt’s religious identity.

“Our stance is that the identity of the state is protected by such provisions, and it doesn’t need any additional clauses,” said Malt.

Read more….

Damietta protesters show determination as controversial factory keeps working

Residents surround Damietta Port, as they demand closure of MOPCO plant, November 14,2011. (By Ahmed Abd al-Fatah)

DAMIETTA — Hundreds of protesters demonstrating against expansions to a factory in this Mediterranean port city are maintaining their sit-in for an eighth day, even after clashes with security forces on Sunday left one demonstrator dead.

Meanwhile, the factory appears to be operating despite government announcements that it is to be shut down.

The sit-in, which has closed Damietta’s main roads, is against the Misr Oil Processing Company (MOPCO) factory, which residents say pollutes their town’s water. Continue reading