Security forces have assigned over 18,945 polling stations to receive voters on Sunday for the first phase of parliamentary elections in 14 governorates. According to an announcement by the military, over 185,000 security personnel from the army and police were assigned to secure the election.
Elections will take place Sunday and Monday, and the Supreme Electoral Commission (SEC) designated 26, 27,28 October for the second round of elections.
The highest number of military forces will be in the governorates of Giza, Fayoum, Beni Suef and Minya with a total of 76,000 central army forces, state-run media MENA reported.
From the Third Field Army, 12,000 personnel will be securing the Red Sea governorate. Another 38,000 personnel will be distributed in Alexandria and Beheira, 8,000 in Matruh and 17,000 in the governorates of Assiut, Sohag, Qena, Aswan, New Wadi.
The Ministry of Defence said in a Friday statement that elections security will also include Arial surveillance, to receive live updates and reports on any incident that might disrupt the voting process. The Air Force, with the assistance of the Egyptian Army’s media apparatus, will provide coverage.
The Air Force will also be responsible for transporting the 1,100 Judges who will administer the elections using military planes to “guarantee their safety”.
Moreover, the Ministry of Interior said a battle group of nine policemen will be responsible of five polling centres on average. It added that Central Security Forces (CSF) will be equipped with armed weapons, birdshots and tear gas, MENA added.
A security report released by the interior ministry further stated that police and security presence was to be reinforced outside polling stations and that security personnel were not allowed inside, unless requested by the judge in charge of the polling place.
The Egyptian Navy is also expected to provide 38,000 personnel, to secure “vital facilities” such as the Suez Canal. Similarly, Special Forces will stand ready to provide reinforcements to any security force.
Meanwhile, the interior ministry launched several security raids across the government, which resulted in the arrest of two people last Tuesday on charges of “managing a Facebook page aimed at incitement to violence against public facilities and security forces”.
The suspects were named as Hossam Hassan and Yosr Abu-Trika, a relative of famous football player Mohamed Abu-Trika, pending investigations into charges of belonging and funding the banned Muslim Brotherhood group.
“Pictures of former President Mohamed Morsi, the Rabaa sign and print documents related to Ultras Misr Seyasy [UMS], the name of the Facebook page in question, were found in their possession,” the police said.
However, the group UMS issued a statement later slamming the interior ministry’s claims, and assured “the administrator of the page is free and carrying his job”.