HPEC to look into Sabbahi’s 2nd appeal of election violations
Abdel-Aziz Salman, secretary-general of HPEC - YOUM7
By SARA OSAMA SHOUREAP

CAIRO: High Presidential Election Commission (HPEC) will look Sunday into the second appeal filed by Hamdeen Sabbahi against violation in some polling stations, lawyer Tarek Nagida, Sabbahi’s campaign legal advisor, told The Cairo Post.

The first appeal Sabbahi filed was rejected on Friday against the HPEC’s May 27 decision to extend voting to May 28 despite objections raised by Sabbahi and rival candidate and other candidate Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.

Most of the monitoring organizations said the presidential elections were “fair” despite some violations but it did not affect the electoral process.

Several national and international monitoring organizations observed the presidential elections on May 26, 27, and 28 and released several statements regarding the electoral process. Among those organizations were National Council for Human Rights (NCHR), National Council for Childhood and Motherhood (NCCM), EU delegations, the Arab league, the African Union, and the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies among many others.

NCHR issued a report Thursday that they received about 443 complaints during the three days of presidential elections.

They sent 308 complaints to the HPEC and kept 135 complaints, 50 oh which were related to delays in opening some polling stations and most of the rest related with administrative complaints.

Cairo ranked the first among these violations, with about 46 complaints followed by Asyut, Sharqia, and Qalyubia.

On the first days of elections, NCHR received 176 complaints from different governorates, according to a report issued by the council last Monday.

NCCM said they received 24 claims of exploiting children politically in the recent presidential elections, according to the council General Secretary Azza al-Ashmawy in a press conference Thursday.

During a conference held on Saturday to discuss women’s participation in the presidential election, head of the National Council for Women Mervat el-Talawy dismissed two members of the EU Election Observation Mission (EOM).

“Your report is not acceptable and you have to take it back. You are out of the Middle East,” Talawy told EOM members, in a video published by Al-Masry Al-Youm.

Talawy told The Cairo Post that she dismissed them because their report interfered in Egypt’s internal affairs.

Furthermore, EU EOM Chief Observer Mário David said the election was “in line with the law,” but “in an environment falling short of constitutional principles,” due to the election being extended one day.

David said there were some violations but they were minor and did not negatively affect the impartiality of the elections. He said however that there was a general climate of limited freedom of expression, which resulted in journalists being unable to freely express their opinions.

The Arab League monitoring mission announced Thursday that it detected some irregularities in the elections but not enough to negatively affect the election process.

The African Union mission, headed by Mohamed Lamine Ould of Western Sahara, said the stations were highly secure and praised the peaceful atmosphere of the voting.

Ould said in a press conference Thursday that the 45-member mission was still analyzing the election process and will issue its final results on June 3. A press conference to announce the results will be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia then.

The presidential election was held on May 26 and 27 and polling hours were extended by an hour on the second day, which the government announced it a public holiday to allow voters to cast their ballots freely.

The voting days have been extended to a third day, due to the low turnout on the first and second day. The two presidential candidates Sabbahi and Sisi criticized the extension, which in the end also witnessed very low turnout.

According to the initial results issued on Thursday, Sisi got 94 percent of the votes with 23,265,306 out of 23,999,606 valid ballots and Sabbahi got 4 percent with 734,300 votes. HPEC is scheduled to announce the official results on June 5.

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