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Elections go smoothly in Minya

By Mohamed Effat and Heba Afify MINYA: Voters, candidates and civil society groups said that Sunday’s parliamentary elections in Minya were free of clashes and forgery. Khaled Kamal Makady, 65, was disappointed to find that no one was willing to pay for his vote. “No one is paying the voters anything, I wish they were,” said …

DNE

Unofficial European delegation oversees elections through rights organizations

By Essam Fadl CAIRO: A European delegation arrived to Cairo early Sunday to unofficially oversee Egypt’s parliamentary elections as they went on field visits to rights organizations, sources in human rights groups told Daily News Egypt. Member of the Euro-Mediterranean Network Moataz Al-Fogairy told Daily News Egypt that he came to Cairo with the network’s delegation …

DNE

Gamila Ismail files complaint after candidacy number changed

By Tamim Elyan CAIRO: Independent candidate in Cairo’s Qasr El-Nil constituency, Gamila Ismail, filed a complaint at the prosecution office after she found her candidacy number changed from 17 to 14 on the day of the elections. Naglaa Fawzy, general coordinator of Ismail’s campaign, claimed that people were brought in shuttle buses to vote for National …

DNE

Independent candidate says attacked by ‘NDP thugs’ in Alexandria

By Heba Fahmy ALEXANDRIA: Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated independent candidate Sobhy Saleh said he was attacked on Sunday afternoon by “National Democratic Party thugs” in front of the Abys Mosque, in Al-Raml district. “I was choked and attacked with swords by NDP thugs,” Saleh told Daily News Egypt. His attackers were seen walking with NDP candidate Abdel Salam …

DNE

Muslim Brotherhood’s official website blocked on election day

By Heba Afify CAIRO: The Muslim Brotherhood’s official website was blocked for users in Egypt on Sunday, the day of the parliamentary elections. Muslim Brotherhood affiliated parliamentary candidates said the blocking is an attempt by the government to further restrain the media from covering the violations that occur during the elections. “It has been obvious …

DNE

Al-Wafd reports violations against candidates across Egypt

By Tamim Elyan CAIRO: Al-Wafd Party said its candidates have been harassed in most constituencies across Egypt and their representatives were forced to leave polling stations as Egyptians voted in the parliamentary elections Sunday. Al-Sayed Al-Badawy, chairman of the party, said however that the party will not drop out of the race. In Daqahleya, in Nabaroh, …

DNE

Absent ElBaradei’s boycott call goes unheard in Egypt vote

By Mona Salem / AFP CAIRO: Egypt’s former UN nuclear watchdog chief Mohamed ElBaradei has missed a much-anticipated opportunity to press for change by failing to unite the opposition in an election boycott, analysts and diplomats say. ElBaradei, 68, has been out of the country since September and has remained largely silent in the run-up to …

DNE

Son of Matariya election candidate stabbed to death

By AFP CAIRO: The son of an independent candidate in Egypt’s parliamentary election was stabbed to death on the eve of the vote as he was putting up posters of his father in Cairo, relatives and a medic said Sunday. Two men attacked Omar Sayed Sayed, 24, on Saturday night in the Matariya district of …

DNE

Financial violations mar election campaigns in absence of proper oversight

By Abdel-Rahman Hussein CAIRO: Financial violations are occurring but are not being reported, as the spending cap set by the Supreme Electoral Commission (SEC) for parliamentary candidates’ campaigns was surpassed by many, according to both observers and candidates. Spending on each candidate’s campaign was capped by the SEC at LE 200,000, with an additional LE 100,000 …

DNE

Elections to determine relation between religion and state, says NDP

By Tamim Elyan CAIRO: Mohamed Kamal, the NDP’s secretary of political education and training and head of its youth committee, said the outcome of the current parliamentary elections would define the relationship between religion and the state in Egypt. Kamal described the Muslim Brotherhood’s (MB) participation in the elections as illegal and violates Egyptian laws. “We …

DNE

Experts forecast NDP majority, MB relapse in parliament

By Tamim Elyan CAIRO: Experts tipped the National Democratic Party (NDP) to win a majority of seats in the next parliament, and added that other opposition parties would have a higher representation as opposed to the Muslim Brotherhood (MB). “The NDP is expected to constitute the largest bloc as independents are expected to join the mainstream …

DNE

11 Brotherhood members get 2-year sentence for election campaigning

By AFP CAIRO: An Egyptian court sentenced 11 Islamists to two years in prison for election campaigning for the banned Muslim Brotherhood, a judicial official said on Saturday, a day before a parliamentary poll. The official said the Alexandria criminal court reached its verdict in a single hearing on Friday, unusual in a country where judicial …

DNE

Egypt bans shooting of BBC program about elections

By Magdy Samaan CAIRO: A TV program on Egyptian parliamentary elections wasn’t aired on BBC Arabic Wednesday after the channel wasn’t allowed to film the talk show in a private studio in Egypt. BBC Arabic apologized to its viewers for not airing the first episode of its new talk show “Question Time” for reasons it said …

DNE

Egypt activists struggle to monitor election

By Hadeel Al-Shalchi /AP CAIRO: Rights activists in Egypt are struggling to ensure they will be able to monitor parliament elections Sunday that they expect to be plagued by rigging. But they are hoping for help from would-be voters themselves through an internet map tracking violations at the polls. Egyptians who witness any cheating, police intimidation …

DNE

Quota system will change perception of women in society, say female candidates

By Heba Afify CAIRO: In spite of a new system allocating 64 seats in the People’s Assembly to women, the candidates are still battling stereotypes in the male-dominated political scene. But they are planning to change that once elected MPs by bringing a more compassionate view to laws and proving themselves. Madiha Khattab, a National Democratic …

DNE

Candidates take political competition to creativity in banners, slogans

By Heba Fahmy CAIRO/ALEXANDRIA: The slogans can be catchy, witty, religious, or cheesy. The banners and posters promoting candidates running in this year’s parliamentary elections have taken over almost every corner in the country in a widespread battle for voters’ attention. Playing on famous slogans from past elections (mainly the Muslim Brotherhood’s banned “Islam is the …

DNE

Admin Court halts elections in 24 constituencies 48 hours before vote

By Safaa Abdoun CAIRO: Less than 48 hours before the much anticipated People’s Assembly elections, governmental and non-governmental organizations alike are taking last minute action before Egyptians cast their ballots this Sunday. The Administrative Court cancelled the Sunday elections in 24 districts after its orders to reinstate opposition and independent candidates were ignored by officials. These …

DNE

NDP tries to disqualify 52 independent candidates

By AFP CAIRO: Egypt’s ruling party said on Thursday it has filed complaints with the public prosecutor against 52 independent candidates in Sunday’s parliamentary election for belonging to an illegal organization. “We have evidence that 52 candidates are not independent,” National Democratic Party (NDP) spokesman Ali El Din Hilal told reporters in Cairo. “It is …

DNE

Our exclusion is political, say Alexandria MB candidates

By Tamim Elyan CAIRO: Four Muslim Brotherhood (MB) candidates whose parliamentary candidacy applications were rejected said that their exclusion from the elections in Alexandria was a conscious political decision by the regime, not a legal error. The MB has fielded eight candidates in Alexandria and one female candidate for a seat reserved by the women’s quota. …

DNE

Fate of Alexandria PA elections hangs in the balance

By Heba Fahmy CAIRO: The fate of elections in Alexandria remains undecided after the Administrative Court there canceled on Wednesday evening the general election scheduled for Nov. 28 in 11 constituencies, describing them as “unconstitutional” and “illegal.” The court, whose decision includes the Al-Raml and Sidi Gaber constituencies, cited the government elimination of candidates from registration …

DNE

National Democratic Party: No rule changes for presidency vote

By Marwa Awad / Reuters CAIRO: A leading member of Egypt’s ruling party said in an interview that the constitution would not be changed before the 2011 presidential election, quashing opposition calls for reforms it sees as crucial to a fair vote. Safwat El-Sherif, secretary-general of President Hosni Mubarak’s National Democratic Party (NDP), also dismissed opposition …

DNE

MB leader optimistic about elections despite government crackdown

By Heba Fahmy CAIRO: Prominent Muslim Brotherhood (MB) leader Essam El-Erian believes that the crackdown on the group’s members is unfounded. “It is not because they broke the law, at all; we are working peacefully,” El-Erian told Daily News Egypt. “We are prominent figures of society: doctors, engineers, professors, [and] businessmen … are not criminals. It’s …

DNE

HRW condemns Egypt ‘repression’ ahead of election

By AFP CAIRO: Human Rights Watch accused Egypt on Wednesday of repression and of intimidating opposition candidates in the run-up to Sunday’s parliamentary election, which it said made a free and fair vote extremely unlikely. “The combination of restrictive laws, intimidation, and arbitrary arrests is making it extremely difficult for citizens to choose freely the people …

DNE

Celebrities race for parliamentary seats

By Tamim Elyan CAIRO: Even though they played as teammates for both Egypt’s national football team and for the Ahly football club 20 years ago, today Ahmed Shobeir and Taher Abo Zeid are competing against one another as party rivals on the political scene. Both football legends are running in the People’s Assembly (PA) elections this …

DNE

Meet the Players: The Tagammu Party

Formed in the interim between the dissolution of the Arab Socialist Union (ASU) and the creation of the National Democratic Party (NDP), the Tagammu Party was established by Khaled Mohieddin in 1976 to encompass the leftist elements of the ASU. Mohieddin was one of the Free Officers behind the 1952 coup that overthrew the reigning …

DNE

Decoding Egypt: A forecast of Egyptian parliamentary elections

By Nael Shama CAIRO: Political scientists usually refrain from being drawn into the notoriously slippery forecasting game. Politics is a multi-faceted process, and the various types of interactions among the different players and variables in any historical setting produce a complex situation, that is prone to quick changes and is thus highly unpredictable. To cite just …

DNE

Gamila Ismail fights NDP, public perceptions of elections in Qasr El-Nil

By Sarah Carr CAIRO: Just like the rest of Cairo, the Qasr El-Nil constituency has been assaulted by election propaganda as of late. Photographs of incumbent MP Hisham Mostafa Khalil stare out from underneath bridges, the sides of mobile food carts and even from a ladies clothing store — the sign for which has been temporarily …

DNE

Meet the players: Al-Wafd Party

  Al-Wafd Party is considered by many to be the most powerful and influential official opposition party in Egypt. It has enjoyed a long history as a liberal party in Egyptian politics, having promoted the notion of national unity since the 1920’s. Al-Wafd, which means “The Delegation” in English, was originally a group of national …

DNE

Mob attacks opposition Brotherhood figure in Minya, says group

By Maggie Michael /AP CAIRO: A mob armed with knives attacked a senior lawmaker from Egypt’s opposition Muslim Brotherhood on Monday hours after he accused the government of already rigging next week’s parliamentary election, the group said. The crowd swarmed a car carrying Saad El-Katatni in southern Egypt, slashing the tires, breaking windows and injuring his …

DNE

US ‘closely monitoring’ arrests ahead of Egypt vote

By AFP WASHINGTON: The United States is “closely following” reports of arrests and intimidation ahead of Egypt’s legislative elections and has expressed concerns to Cairo, the State Department said Monday. “We are closely monitoring events that are happening in Egypt, reports of arrests and intimidation, and we have not hesitated to express our concerns directly …

DNE