Sunday, December 16, 2012

Citing violations, Egyptian rights groups demand new charter poll

Human rights groups call for rerun of first phase of constitutional referendum due to 'numerous' violations witnessed during voting on Saturday

Ahram Online

"A number of prominent human rights groups have called for a re-run of the first phase of Egypt's constitutional referendum due to numerous violations reported during polling on Saturday.

"Despite the revolution, we had a referendum like those held during the Mubarak era," Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) leader Bahi El-Din Hassan said at a press conference on Sunday.

Hassan went on to list several types of violations that "invalidate the whole [referendum] process."
For example, there were cases of 'fake' judges overseeing the voting at polling stations.

He also accused several judges of closing polling stations early despite an order by the Supreme Electoral Commission (SEC) to extend voting until 11pm.

Human rights lawyer Negad El-Borai added that members of civil society organisations were banned from entering polling stations. However, members the Freedom and Justice Party were given permits to enter polling stations and sometimes used that access to encourage people to vote 'Yes'.

"We have reported all the violations, but there has been no response from the SEC," added El-Borai, who questioned how the SEC could release statements denying violations had occurred without investigating them....."


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