Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (Cairo)

15 December 2012

Egypt: Massive Campaigning for Voting 'Yes' in the Constitutional Referendum

press release

Egyptians vote Saturday in a referendum on a new constitution to replace the one suspended after the 2011 revolution. Here are some basic facts and figures on the vote.

There are two rounds of voting -- the first on Saturday and the second on Dec. 22. Polls open at 8:00 am and close at 7:00 pm local time. The ballot paper has two options: "agree" or "don't agree." More than 26 million people in 10 of Egypt's 27 governorates are eligible to vote. Saturday's voting includes Egypt's most populated cities, Cairo and Alexandria, which together account for nearly nine million voters. Also voting will be in Nile Delta.

More than 25 million Egyptians in the remaining 17 other governorates, including Cairo's twin city of Giza and provinces in both the Delta and the south, will vote in the second round.

Authorities say 7,000 judges are to oversee 6723 polling stations in 4930 polling centers in the first round. Ballot counting takes place inside the stations just after the closure of polls.

The main international group that monitored previous Egyptian votes, the Carter Center, will not deploy observers this time around. Local monitoring groups have protested new regulations that require they receive permits from the state-run National Council for Human Rights, instead of obtaining permits directly from the Election Committee as they have in the past.

The observers of the Egyptian Coalition of Electoral Observation witnessed electoral violations including:

Late opening of polling stations:

In Assuit, the polling stations no. 28 and 29 in Qosia Secondary School opened at 8.30 am.

In Alexandria, the polling stations in Kabs Al Kotton and Kafr Ashry Schools opened at 9.30.

In Dakhlia, the polling station no. 30 in Tanbol School in Sinbellawin opened at 8.40 am.

In Cairo, the observers of the Egyptian coalition documented late opening of the polling stations in Asmaa Schoolin Tora, 8.20 am.

In Sharkia, the polling stations in Saad Zaghloul Primary School opened at 9.30 am.

In Gharbia, the polling station no. 5 in Ahmed Agha School in Tanta City opened at 9 am.

Electoral bribery:

In Cairo, the observers of the Egyptian coalition documented individuals distributing money amongst voters to vote "yes" in front of Foad Galal Primary School in Zahra Misr Al Kadima.

Influencing voters:

In Cairo, there were face-veiled women urging voters to vote "yes" in the polling stations no. 21 and 22 in Amal School in Shobra.

In Dakhlia, in the Preparatory School for Boys in Masara, Helwan, the observers of the Egyptian coalition found campaigning materials to vote "yes" for the new constitution.

Electoral problems in polling stations:

In Assuit, disorders were noticed by the observers of the Egyptian Coalition in the polling station no. 19 in Nawawra Health Unit in Badary; there were many voters inside the polling stations there.

In Cairo, the voters did not sign in the voter lists after voting in the polling station no. 3 for women in Mohamed Refat School in Nasr City.

Banning entrance of NGOs' observers:

In Dakhlia, the security forces outside Sayeda Aisha Preparatory School in Mansora banned the observers of the civil society organizations from entering the polling stations.

Absence of phosphoric ink:

In Gharbia, the phosphoric ink did not exist in the polling station no. 33 in Manshiat Al bakry Preparatory School in Mahala City.

In Cairo, there is no phosphoric ink in the polling station no. 8 in Salam Experimental School in Hadaek Koba.

Campaigning:

In Sharkia, the observers of the Egyptian coalition documented the microbus no. 2594 with amplifier inviting the egyptian citizens to vote "yes" in front of Abdel Aziz Radwan School in Zakazik.

Problems with voter lists:

In Cairo, Amal School in Shobra, the voter Amina Farouk Abdel Moniem's registration no. changed from 3393 during the parliamentary elections to 1291 during the referendum.

Absence of juridical supervision:

In Cairo, the observers of the Egyptian Coalition discovered absence of supervising judges in the polling station no. 2 in the youth center in Tagamoa Awal and the polling station no. 11 in Mokatam Basic Education School.

Non-stamped ballots:

In Gharbia, the observers of the Egyptian Coalition discovered non-stamped ballots in the polling station no. 5 in Ahmed Agha School in tanta City.

Closing polling stations:

In Dakhlia, the observers of the Egyptian Coalition discovered closing doors of polling stations following clashes in the Preparatory School in Masara.

Thuggish acts:

In Gharbia, the observers of the Egyptian Coalition witnessed gunfire for scaring people in order not to go to the polling stations in Talat Harb and Wai Kawmi Schools in Mahala.

The Egyptian Coalition for Electoral Observation includes 123 development and human rights' civil society organizations, in 26 governorates countrywide. The coalition has formed an equipped operation room for receiving the statements of the local and international observers on the situation in the polling stations. The operation room is located at the Egyptian organization for Human Rights (EOHR).

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