Egypt's top party accused of violations

Egypt's ruling National Democratic Party committed more campaign violations than any of the nine other parties in the country's first contested presidential poll, a rights group charged.

    Government facilities were used by Mubarak's party

    Campaigning for the presidential elections ended on Sunday with 32 million voters expected to go to the polls on 7 September to vote in an election that incumbent Hosni Mubarak is widely expected to win.

    The 10 candidates' access to the populace and to state-owned media facilities appeared to be generally fair, the Independent Egyptian Committee for Monitoring Elections (IECME) acknowledged in a preliminary report.

    Unlawful exposure

    "The general climate was neutral to a certain extent in terms of allowing the different candidates direct and indirect access to the masses," IECME coordinator Sherif Mansur told journalists.

    The rights group said most
    candidates abided by the law

    But the NDP and its supporters violated a few rules for fair play laid down by the electoral commission and the law, claimed the report, compiled by 120 members who followed eight candidates in 12 cities and attended 50 rallies between 17 August and 4 September.

    While most of the candidates seemed to have abided by campaign rules and the law, Mubarak received unfair and, in certain cases, unlawful exposure and access, the IECME said.

    "The Interior Ministry did not issue permission to print and put up campaign posters in time for some candidates," said Mansur, citing one of the problems that opposition candidates faced in their attempts to reach the people.

    Threats

    He added that NDP supporters also removed a few posters and banners belonging to opposition candidates.

    "Security authorities intervened on more than one occasion to change the time and venue of scheduled opposition rallies," Mansur said.

    "Government agencies also actively rallied people in support of Mubarak"

    Sherif Mansur

    ,

    IECME coordinator

    Individuals also received threats for openly supporting opposition candidates, he added.

    NDP supporters further ignored a law banning the use of
    government facilities and public buildings for campaign purposes, according to the report.

    These included "ministry buildings, police stations, government schools and hospitals, universities and train stations", Mansur
    said. The NDP also used government vehicles and public buses to bring people to rallies, he added.

    "Government agencies also actively rallied people in support of Mubarak," the IECME coordinator said.

    Magistrates protest

    Aljazeera's correspondent in Cairo has reported that 12 state council magistrates who were disqualified from supervising presidential elections have formally challenged the decision. 

    A number of disqualified judges will contest the decision on their case on Tuesday morning, the sources from the judges syndicate said.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    We foreigners: What it means to be Bengali in India's Assam

    We foreigners: What it means to be Bengali in India's Assam

    As tensions over India's citizenship law shine a light on Assam, a writer explores the historical tensions in the state.

    Sentenced to death for blasphemy: Surviving Pakistan's death row

    Sentenced to death for blasphemy: Surviving Pakistan's death row

    The story of a man who spent 19 years awaiting execution reveals the power of a false blasphemy claim to destroy a life.

    The Syrian women and girls sold into sexual slavery in Lebanon

    The Syrian women and girls sold into sexual slavery in Lebanon

    Syria's refugee crisis has shone a light on sex trafficking in Lebanon, where victims are often treated as criminals.