CAIRO: The Interior Ministry raised the alert status to the extreme ahead of the parliamentary elections first phase scheduled to start Sunday in the 14 governorates.
“In cooperation with the Egyptian armed forces, the ministry has developed a security plan whereby it has reinforced its security presence with as many as 180,000 policemen deployed in the vicinity of polling stations, vital facilities and public institutions,” the state news agency MENA quoted a security source Thursday.
The plan has three main axes; the first includes securing polling stations and the judges overseeing the elections, the second involves securing buildings where the ballot counting procedures will take place and finally a plan to restore order to the streets to meet any potential violence after the results are announced, the source added.
The voting for Egyptians abroad is scheduled to take place on Oct. 17-18 and for Egyptians inside Egypt Oct. 18-19. Campaigning for the first phase kicked off Sept. 29.
“The police forces will take over polling stations on Saturday so that bomb squads comb them along with the vicinity of all polling stations,” the sources said, adding that police forces will secure logistics of the electoral process, scheduled to be delivered to and stored at the security directorates of the 14 governorates witnessing the first phase.
Police have been equipped with heavy weaponry and were given clear instructions to deal with any possible threat or attack, the source added.
Last week, Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar has ordered all vacations of policemen nationwide to be cancelled and to raise preparedness within all sectors of the ministry, according to MENA.
Forces at the highest level of readiness will be deployed throughout the day in the areas surrounding the most important public facilities including the Parliament headquarter, ministers, T.V. building and police stations, according to the source.