CAIRO: Human rights expert Magdy Abdel Hameed of the Egyptian Association for Community Participation Enhancement (EACPE) said Tuesday that voter turnout in the first day of presidential elections Monday was below average at only 40 percent, Youm7 reported.
Abdel Hameed also said local NGOs are better at monitoring the vote because they better understand Egyptian voters and previous irregularities, whereas international monitoring pays attention to voting formalities. He said voter turnout was high in Suez and Menoufia, unlike the rest of the governorates.
Abdel Hameed said the EACPE observed irregularities in Koliet el-Banat School in Heliopolis, like the absence of facilities for voters with special needs. Also, in Sohag, Luxor, Dakahlia and Alexandria, some judges urged voters to vote for a certain candidate.
He additionally said police forces arrested three Muslim Brotherhood members in Sedi Beshr in Alexandria because they were in a school calling on people to boycott elections and calling them “illegitimate.” He also said a member of the dissolved National Democratic Party in El-Zawya El-Hamra collected voters in private cars, gave them mineral water bottles, and told them to vote for Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.
As for Tuesday, EACPE observers reported in the first hours of the second day of voting that turnout was low in most governorates. This was despite voting sites opening on time at 9 a.m. and army and police forces being present to secure polling stations, according to the association’s website, Mosharka.org.
The EACPE also said some members of the Nour Party continued promoting Sisi in Sharqia and Menoufia.
Another group of observers from the Maat NGO reported a group of Copts in Deer el-Maymoon in Giza received anonymous threats over the phone from people warning them not to vote.
According to a press release, Maat also observed irregularities in Kafr el-Sheikh. Some microbuses were promoting Sisi, a group of MB members fought with Sisi campaign members, injuring two and 10 alleged MB members fired shots at a voter registration office before running away.
Additional reporting by Samir Hosny.