Rights Violations Mar Run Up to Egypt’s Parliamentary Election | Freedom House

Rights Violations Mar Run Up to Egypt’s Parliamentary Election

Washington

The lack of transparency and fair political competition, as well as a recent rise in violence in Egypt ahead of Sunday’s parliamentary elections, leaves little hope that the results will reflect the will of the Egyptian people, according to Freedom House.
 
In the six months since Egypt renewed its long-standing emergency law, authorities have increasingly cracked down on free speech and association, silenced independent media, restricted text messaging services, and obstructed public events. Additionally, the Egyptian High Elections Commission, which has been tasked with administering the election, has not been given the capacity or authority to adequately do so.  
 
“These flaws in the electoral process do not bode well for Egyptian citizens on election day,” said David J. Kramer, Executive Director of Freedom House. “The Egyptian Government is failing to fulfill its promise to its people to hold free and fair elections.  Moreover, these trends do not bode well for Egypt’s presidential election next year.”
 
Over the past three weeks, human rights groups and domestic election observers have documented further signs of unfair electoral competition:
  • Dozens of candidates were denied registration to run for election
  • The Ministry of Interior has failed to enforce court rulings to reinstate some of these candidates
  • Government resources were used for campaigning by the ruling National Democratic Party
  • Police have arrested hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood (as many as 1200 according to some reports)
  • Violent incidents have taken place in highly contested districts of Alexandria and Nagh Hammadi
  • The High Elections Commission has denied accreditation to independent domestic observers, including from the Ibn Khaldun Center
  • The Egyptian government has refused requests for international observers to observe the elections
“The interference with media coverage and election observation undermines the credibility of the election process in Egypt,” said Daniel Calingaert, Deputy Director of Programs at Freedom House. “We will watch closely to see if Egyptian citizens can participate freely on election day and if the voting and vote count process are open to public scrutiny.”
 
Egypt is ranked Not Free in Freedom in the World 2010, Freedom House's survey of political rights and civil liberties, and Partly Free in Freedom of the Press 2010.
For more information on Egypt, visit:
 
 
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Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

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