The 1995 Egyptian legislative elections
CHRLA's observations on the first round


A. Observations on preparation and updating of electoral registers

B. Observations on the period of campaigning

C. Observations on voting, counting and declaration of results

Recommendations


Introduction

The first round of the legislative elections ended on 29 November 1995. Since June of this year, CHRLA (the Center for Human Rights Legal Aid) had focused on the electoral process. When the date of the elections was announced, CHRLA published a report on the rights of candidate representatives. Following this was a pamphlet on the rights of voters. CHRLA also issued an appeal to all parties in the electoral process (the government, political parties, candidates and voters) to exercise their rights in accordance with the law and to respect the rights of others during the election period.

The first round of voting resulted in the outright victory of only 136 candidates. A second round of voting was scheduled for 7 December 1995 in 167 constituencies. This means that in only a quarter of all constituencies (222) was one candidate successful in obtaining the necessary percentage of votes to qualify immediately for the People's Assembly.

This report is an evaluation of the first round of voting. The report seeks to demonstrate the extent to which the parties involved in the electoral process abided by the law and the Constitution, as well as the legal safeguards necessary for a fair and honest election.

Observations on the first round of voting

In October, one month prior to the elections, CHRLA issued a report on legislative elections in Egypt. The report reviewed the laws regulating the electoral process and the extent to which these laws conform to the Constitution and international covenants. The report stressed the necessity of fair elections for democracy and stated the constitutional, legal and practical safeguards for this to be achieved. It also quoted the International Parliamentary Union Declaration on Free and Fair Elections. The Declaration states the right of candidates to express their political opinions without interference or restriction, freedom to move within the country as part of their campaign and the separation of the ruling party and the state during the election period. (see CHRLA's report, Legislative Elections in Egypt, November 1995 - Rights and Guarantees).

None of these safeguards were realized during the first round of voting, and in fact some were clearly violated. There were cases where governors imposed compulsory fees on candidates for campaigning. The Minister of the Interior banned electoral rallies and placed restrictions on holding conferences. In some cases, supporters of certain candidates were systematically detained.


Introduction | Part A | Part B | Part C | Recommendations

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