Massive vote fraud in Egyptian elections – still no word of criticism from Harry’s Place

Members of Egypt’s largest opposition party braced for a bruising defeat in parliamentary elections Sunday amid reports that proxies of the ruling party [National Democratic Party – NDP] committed widespread fraud and prevented election monitors working for rival candidates from monitoring the polls.

Muslim Brotherhood leaders said government security forces and election officials kept their delegates from entering dozens of polling stations and prevented many of their supporters from casting ballots.

“The government has used all the means to prevent people from going to polling stations,” Muslim Brotherhood campaign coordinator Mohammed Mursi said Sunday night as the polls were closing. “It seems the regime does not want to have real opposition in parliament.”

In the weeks leading up to the election, Egyptian security forces detained hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood supporters and disqualified many of its candidates.

Opposition politicians and human rights activists said they recorded dozens of cases of ballot stuffing, vote buying and voter intimidation. Outside several key polling stations, bands of men in civilian clothes beat back voters and supporters of opposition candidates, in some instances working in coordination with police forces, human rights activists and witnesses said.

“It’s a situation in which the ruling party has a relatively free hand to manipulate the results,” said Tom Malinowski, the Washington director of Human Rights Watch, who was among the group’s representatives monitoring the situation outside polling stations Sunday. “The government’s objective seems to be to make voting simultaneously dangerous and futile to discourage everyone other than those mobilized by the ruling party from going to the polls.”

In Alexandria, Egypt’s second-largest city and a Brotherhood stronghold, opposition candidates described overt violations. “The ballot boxes arrived full,” Brotherhood candidate Sobhy Saleh said in an interview Sunday morning. “The will of the people is being stolen.” On Sunday night, an aide said Saleh had been wounded in clashes and was recovering at a hospital.

At the polling station at the Hoda Shaarawy School in Cairo’s upscale Dokki neighborhood, women dressed in head scarves banged on the green gate, pleading to be allowed to cast votes. Election officials held them at bay for most of the day and opened the doors only to allow in voters bused in by NDP activists.

Washington Post, 29 November 2010

We’ve already pointed to the failure of websites like Harry’s Place, who erupted in fury at the attack on democracy in Iran, to express even the slightest criticism of the attack on democracy in Egypt. Apparently it’s cause for outrage if an anti-western Islamist regime suppresses its opponents, but a matter of insignificance if a pro-western regime suppresses an Islamist opposition.

See also Newsweek, 29 November 2010