CAIRO: A number of Shoura Council election candidates on Tuesday accused security and the Supreme Electoral Commission of committing violations against them and their supporters.
In a press conference held at the Lawyers’ Syndicate, several Shoura candidates from the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) cited examples of violations against them as they prepared to run for election, saying security has crossed the line.
The syndicate’s freedoms committee Secretary General Gamal Tag Eddin said allies of candidates were charged with “fabricated” crimes “just because they supported [certain] candidates.”
Candidates confirmed that their activities at the constituencies were monitored by state security officers. They further accused security authorities of arresting and physically assaulting many of their allies.
“The commission was supposed … to do its legal role in maintaining legitimacy and law,” Tag Eddin told reporters.
“Despite filing complaints before the commission, it did not react or do its expected job,” he added.
MB members further objected to the commission’s bias towards the National Democratic Party (NDP) candidates.
Ali Barakat, an MB candidate in Alexandria, noted that NDP members were allowed to hold public meetings and promote their electoral campaigns while MB candidates faced a lot of difficulties.
“Violations started from the first moment after we announced our intention to run for the poll,” said Mohamed Awad Al-Zayat, an MB candidate in Beheira.
“I saw many citizens prevented to sign up because they were not NDP members. For me, it was weird not to face difficulties while submitting my candidacy papers,” Al-Zayat added.
Nevertheless, Al-Zayat said he was later pursued by the state security.
“I was contacted by the state security asking me why I did not get back to them first before applying for candidacy,” he recalled.
Azab Moustafa, an MP and a Shoura candidate in Giza, pointed fingers at the regime and the NDP.
“The regime does not wish for the Shoura Council to include … members who would prevent passing tailored laws,” he noted.
“I have been an MP for 10 years. We exposed many corruption cases. They [the regime and NPD] don’t tolerate us. The regime is afraid … that is why it will not allow independent candidates to run for election,” he added.
A total of 14 MB members will run for the poll scheduled in June; three of them are already sitting MPs.
The Shoura Council is the Upper-House of Egyptian Parliament. The council proposes draft laws, discusses issues and monitors the constitutionality of released decrees.