Allegations of Widespread Fraud in Egyptian Elections
Following the release of the official results of the first round of the post-Mubarak Egyptian elections, allegations of fraud are rampant on the ground.
Next month’s second round run-off election between Mohammed Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood candidate, and Ahmed Shafik, an old guard general and hold over from the Mubarak regime, has been described as a “nightmare scenario” for the Egyptian people. George Ishaq, a founding member of the left leaning Kifaya Party decried the results:
“It feels as if the revolution never took place. The Brotherhood are despotic and fanatical and Shafiq is the choice of Mubarak. It is a very bad result. The revolution is not part of this contest.”
Polls indicate that Morsi is the current front runner, but numerous politicians have expressed a lack of confidence in the election results. Abdel Moneim Abol Fotouh, a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood who came in fourth in the polls during the first round of elections, has stated categorically that he refuses to recognize the legitimacy of the election results, regardless of who emerges as the winner.
“I reject these results and do not recognize them,” he said, further claiming that he possesses proof that representatives of various candidates were denied access to polling places, and that in many instances votes were bought and paid for.
Hamdeen Sabahi, a socialist candidate who is popularly viewed as a true representative of the revolution, has called for a partial recount following his third place finish behind Shafik by roughly 700,000 votes. “The difference between votes for us and votes cast for some of the other candidates is that ours are legitimate,” he stated on Saturday.
Sabahi’s lawyer, Essam El-Islamboly, intends to petition Egypt’s prosecutor-general to investigate allegations being made by a police officer that upwards of 900,000 votes were delivered to Ahmed Shafik by the Egyptian Ministry of the Interior. “We will present an appeal on behalf of candidate Hamdeen Sabahi … to the presidential electoral committee, citing a series of irregularities … that have affected the outcome of the first round,” El-Islamboly told Reuters News Agency.
Meanwhile, there is a tendency among some to back the Brotherhood candidate Morsi against Shafik, who is seen as a throwback to the days of Mubarak. Egyptian Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi has thrown his support behind Morsi, stating that the race is not between an Islamist and a non-Islamist, but between “the revolution and the enemies of the revolution.”
Analysts on the ground are describing the situation as extremely “fluid”, stating that things could quickly take a turn for the worse. On Twitter, there’s renewed talk of mass protests, with many calling for a return to Tahrir square, the symbolic center of the 2011 Egyptian revolution that ousted longtime dictator Hosni Mubarak.