MENUFIYA/BEHEIRA: Turnout at Beheira and Menufiya governorates was below moderate in the run-offs of the second stage of the parliamentary elections.
Voting for the single winner seats in Menufiya’s first constituency and Beheira’s second constituency was coupled with votes for party lists which were postponed from the first stage of round two in accordance with a court ruling to correct party symbols, entailing the reprinting of the ballots.
Scuffles took place over campaigning in front of polling stations between candidate representatives and army forces, who prevented all direct campaigning near stations amid weak police presence.
In Menufiya, the run-offs were over seven seats in four constituencies. Mohammed Anwar El-Sadat, co-founder of the Reform and Development Party, an offshoot of the disbanded National Democratic Party (NDP), had won the professionals seat in the second constituency in the first stage, making him the only winner in round two so far.
Eleven parties are contesting the party lists race in the first constituency, with the list of Egypt’s Nationalist Party down to only seven members following the death of Talaat El-Sadat who topped the party list, two months ago.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) in Menufiya said that the party’s legal committee in Cairo challenged the results of the party lists votes in the second constituency, claiming errors in the vote-counting.
Some of the polling stations opened late in Ashmoun and Al-Shohadaa on the first day of voting on Dec. 21, because judges arrived late, which led to overcrowding.
Some of the candidates’ campaigners were seen using laptops near polling stations to help voters with locating their sub-committees. At women’s polling stations, female campaigners were reportedly directing citizens to vote for specific candidates.
Military police forces fired live shots and sound gun shots in the air to end a fight in Kamshoush village in Menouf in the second constituency on Wednesday, as the village’s residents clashed with campaigners of Al-Wafd Party candidate Ibrahim Kamel.
Residents said that Kamel’s campaigners were attempting to force them to vote in groups for him and his ally, an ex-NDP candidate Ayman Moaz.
In Beheira, voter turnout was also low as the FJP and the Salafi Al-Nour Party faced off in five constituencies over 10 seats.
Party list elections were also taking place in Beheira’s second constituency where eight seats are up for grabs.
Al-Shehab Center for Human Rights said in its first report that a complaint was filed against a woman wearing a face veil from Alexandria, who was trying to vote in place of another woman in Beheira.
The center documented an attack on the judge who had asked her to reveal her face. During the altercation, ballot papers were reportedly torn.
The FJP also filed a complaint against a “rotating ballot paper” found in Kom Hamada city.
Rotating ballot papers were systematically abused by the ousted regime’s National Democratic Party to buy votes.
Two thugs were arrested by military police after attempting to coerce voters in front of Al-Hassan Wal Hussein School in Damanhour.