Several political parties welcomed Tuesday the measures announced by the Supreme Electoral Commission concerning the next parliamentary polls, but demanded more steps. On Monday, the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) formed the Commission led by the head of the Cairo Appeals Court Abdel-Mo’ez Ibrahim.
A few hours later, Ibrahim said in a telephone interview with ON TV’s Baladna Bil Masry talk show that the polls will be held in the second part of November but that the electoral process as a whole will start on Sept. 18. Earlier in March, SCAF had announced that parliamentary elections will be held in September but later in July, the polls were delayed to November.
“Postponing elections is totally in our favor as it gives us [new parties] time to organize and prepare for fielding candidates and setting electoral campaigns,” said Talaat Fahmy co-founder of the Popular Alliance Party, under construction.
However Fahmy, also former senior member of El-Tagammu socialist party, expressed some concerns. “The first condition to guarantee the integrity of elections is to allow voters to use national ID cards only and cancel the system of voter lists abused by the former regime to control the polls,” Fahmy told Daily News Egypt. “Taking such procedures will likely break up old alliances formed by the toppled regime,” he added.
According to Ibrahim, the voters’ lists will be revised based on national ID numbers and filtered from any suspicious data like names of the deceased and citizens not who are not allowed to vote.
“We [officially] called on courts and prosecution offices to inform us of the names of citizens who were handed down court sentences,” he said.
Ibrahim confirmed that the interior ministry will not interfere in the operations of the commission as was the case notoriously before the January uprising that toppled ex-president Hosni Mubarak.
“We have always been against police interference in elections. Yet who will secure polling stations, the armed forces or civilian popular committees?” Fahmy asked. “The security system in its current condition is unprepared to protect elections.”
Ibrahim said voters’ lists will no longer be on paper. Rather, the new lists will be part of an electronic database, organized alphabetically and according to national ID numbers.
“This is the first step towards real democracy,” he explained.
Vice-president of El-Wafd party Fouad Badrawy said the party has called for postponing elections due to the absence of security since the uprising.
“We called for other procedures including full judicial supervision of elections starting with the candidates’ and voters’ lists to the announcement of results with no police intrusion whatsoever,” Badrawy told DNE.
The commission will meet on Saturday to form a general secretariat of judges who will work on the polls.
Full Article: Parties welcome electoral commission measures, demand more.