Limited violations do not affect election impartiality: NCHR
Egyptians line up to vote at first day of elections - YOUM7/Kareem Abdul Kareem

CAIRO: The National Council for Human Rights received around 170 complaints since the start of the first day of the presidential election, most of which were about organizational issues and not the process’s impartiality, said the NCHR’s Deputy Head Abdel Ghaffar Shokr.

Shokr added to The Cairo Post Monday that the most repeated irregularity was the delay in opening the polling stations on time in different governorates.

“There were other logistic irregularities related to the lack of phosphoric ink in some polling stations,” continued Shokr.

He further noted that there were other violations including the prevention of some observers from entering the polling stations.

“Two representatives of Hamdeen Sabbahi’s campaign were banned from entering their polling stations in Qalyubia and Giza. They were detained by security forces even though they had authorizations,” said Gamal Barakat, the head of the elections chamber at the NCHR.

Barakat told The Cairo Post that although the representatives were released, they were not allowed to enter the polling stations.

The NCHR reported that some representatives of the two presidential candidates’ campaigns directed citizens to vote for a certain candidate. “One representative of Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s campaign was spotted directing voters in Zaitoun Primary School in Beni Suef, and the head of the polling station did not interfere,” said Shokr.

“A representative of Sabbahi’s campaign was also reported to be directing voters in Omraneya in Giza,” said Barakat. He also noted that there were violent clashes reported outside a polling station in Kirdasa in Giza, leading to the suspension og the voting process for half an hour.

A final press release on the election will be issued by the NCHR by the end of voting process on the first day, added Shokr.

Barakat also said that turnout was low in the morning and witnessed a remarkable increase by noon. He said the security presence outside polling stations “enabled the voters to cast their ballots with content.”

The NCHR dispatched seven field missions; three in Cairo, two in Giza, one in Alexandria and one in Suez, to observe the process.

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