December 5, 2011

Egyptian Election Blow As Judge Admits Turnout Was Only 52%! Why Didn't 48% Exercise Their RIGHT To Vote?! Come On YOU NEED TO VOTE! You Couldn't Before, Now You Can!

The Telegraph UK
written by Richard Spencer, Middle East Correspondent
Monday December 5, 2011

Irregularities and delays continued to dog the Egyptian election, with the judge in charge saying he had made a mistake in the turnout in last week's vote and an entire constituency's results being invalidated by a court.

Turnout in Monday's round of the election, run-off votes in the 52 out of 56 constituencies from last week's first round in which there was no clear individual winner, seemed to be low judging by queues at polling stations.

There were long lines of voters waiting last Monday and Tuesday in what was the first free election in the country for decades. But what the actual turnout was remains mired in confusion after the judge who runs the election commission, Abdul Moiz Ibrahim, said he had made a mistake in announcing the figure at 62 per cent on Friday when it was in fact 52 per cent.

He said he was "very tired" when he made the original announcement, though he also blamed the error on the commission's staff. However, the discrepancy with the original estimate of 70 per cent given by the ruling military council will lead to further suspicions about the poll's conduct.

A court invalidated all of one constituency's votes in Cairo after learning that supervisors walked out in protest at the conditions during the count.

In their absence 75 ballot boxes were damaged and 15 went missing.

On Monday there continued to be reports of illegal campaigning, particularly by the Muslim Brotherhood-backed Freedom and Justice Party and the radical Islamist Nour party.

Of the 52 run-offs, 24 are between blocs led by these two Islamists parties, with the FJP competing in another 23 against other parties. The two parties dominated the polling last week, winning over 60 per cent of the vote between them, and the run-off system is likely to favour a high presence for them among the third of seats reserved for individuals on top of the party lists' quotas if the trend is continued in the remaining rounds.

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