OBSERVATORY JOINT MISSION FOR PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS
he Global Network for Rights and Development (GNRD), the International Institute for Peace, Justice and Human Rights (IIPJHR), and the MAAT Foundation for Peace, Development and Human Rights received accreditation to observe the 2014 Presidential elections in Egypt. According to the guidelines issued by the Egyptian Presidential Election Committee (PEC), they have also formed a joint observation mission based on a Memorandum of Understanding, signed by all three parties. The Joint Mission committed itself to the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation and the Code of Conduct for International Election Observers as well as to Egypt’s laws and regulations. The mission included persons of diverse political and professional skills, backgrounds, as well as proven integrity. This experienced team observed the election through the lens of their expertise in electoral processes and principles, international human rights, comparative election law and administration practices, comparative political processes, and country specific considerations. The mission also respected the importance of balanced diversity of citizenship, demographics, as well as gender diversity in the development and composition of the team and its leadership. Thus, the observers represented 22 countries: Norway, Russia, Latvia, Spain, Armenia, Jordan, Belgium, France, Zambia, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, Austria, United States of America, Portugal, Sudan, Finland, Australia, Canada, Iceland, Zimbabwe, and Germany. The Joint Mission defined its objectives as follows: • To contribute to the transparency of the elections; • To contribute to Egypt’s transition to democracy; • To support the Egyptian citizens’ right and wish to vote. The mission included 2,614 observers (124 international and 2,490 local) and aimed to monitor three phases of the election process: pre-‐‑election period, days of elections, and post-‐‑ election period. The first group of the observers arrived on 10 May 2014 to follow the pre-‐‑
election period which included activities such as campaign and candidates’ rallies, voters’ education, media coverage of the election'ʹs preparation, and the situation in Egypt. The complete mission of 2,614 observers was deployed on 23 May 2014. During the days of the elections, the observers were divided into 850 groups and assessed 10,323 polling stations in 25 governorates. The assessment of each polling station was undertaken based on the checklists as presented in Appendix 1. The data of all checklists was summarized. In conclusion, the two phases of the joint observation mission closed on 29 May 2014 with a press conference in which the leadership team, as well as the international observers of the mission, congratulated the people of Egypt on the election process and expressed their wish for the future success and development of Egypt. Preliminary results and recommendations were also presented. More than 1000 delegates and representatives from various governorates were in attendance, and this event was also widely covered by the local and international media. The Joint Mission stated that the Egyptian people have experienced a unique process toward democratic transition, and despite the fact that minor errors and inaccuracies occurred; these do not shed a negative light on the overall results of the electoral process. Therefore, the mission highly recommends the implementation of the relevant article in the Egyptian constitution for founding a permanent electoral commission in order to circumvent any future inaccuracies, which may impede the Egyptian people'ʹs strong desire to establish sustainable democracy. The Joint Mission was honored to be a part of the 2014 Egyptian Presidential Election and contribute to promoting its transparency, integrity, and success. The Joint Mission expresses its hope that these contributions will support Egypt’s development and a smooth transition to democracy. We wish success to Egypt, being one of the most influential countries in the Middle East, and commend their achievements thus far towards a path to democracy.
CONCLUSIONS OF THE MISSION’S REPORT
he Joint observation mission of the Global Network for Rights and Development (GNRD), MAAT Foundation for Peace, Development and Human Rights and the International Institute for Peace, Justice and Human Rights (IIPJHR) was honored and pleased to congratulate Egypt’s citizens for the Presidential elections. The past election was a step towards democracy and the joint mission is glad to be a part of this process and contribute to its transparency, success, and truthfulness. The joint mission is glad to present its general comments and recommendations below. General comments: 1. High turnout of voters on the first day (queues), low turnout of voters on second and third days 2. High turnout among elderly people and women. Low participation of youth 3. The polling stations were provided with sufficient security 4. Generally correct implementation of the voting procedure with minor errors 5. The priority access to the polling stations was given to disabled, elderly people and women. When necessary, additional assistance was provided. 6. The observers were mostly given free access to polling stations and provided with necessary information, however there were some cases where observers faced problems in accessing the polling centers 7. Campaign activities and presence of campaign materials are regarded as the most common problem 8. Celebrations were noted around most polling stations on the first day 9. Closing and counting process went smoothly and fast with minor errors
RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE MISSION’S REPORT 1.
4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
Organize better coordination and communication between judges, military, and police at polling stations to ensure clear and smooth operations (especially at opening and closing) Ensure better promotion of voter education for ballot use on public Television and radio for illiterate voters; (many judges reported that illiterate voters were unable to vote unassisted) Provide better training for the polling stations authorities as to voting procedures, counting processes, the presence of international observers and the regulations relating to their activities Revise legislation to define specific and concrete criteria for changing election procedures Better enforcement and monitoring of regulations relating to campaign activities on election day all over the country, including in and around polling stations Prohibition of the participation and presence of unauthorized persons in opening, closing, and counting procedures must be strictly enforced Avoid interference and presence of any security personnel or armed individuals inside polling stations To encourage greater voter participation, consider a “none of the above” category on the ballots
Thank you to GNRD and MAAT Team. Thank you to the IIPJHR Team…
Daniel Gueorguievsky Bruno Ravet Jean-‐‑Pierre Yabas Sebastien Parisot Gabriel Paris Tom Feraud Martha Perez Soria Margaux Scherrer Romain Ruggeri
International Institute for Peace, Justice and Human Rights Rue Richard Wagner, 1 CH - 1202 Genève +41 22 733 83 07 email@example.com www.iipjhr.com