Minister: No vote-rigging in elections, only mistakes by controllers

At a symposium on Monday night, Minister of State for Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Moufid Shehab categorically dismissed allegations of fraud in Egyptian elections.

“Elections are not rigged,” said Shehab at Saqiyet al-Sawy’s cultural center in Zamalek. “But mistakes by controllers, candidates or even voters can occur.”

Shehab welcomed the participation of opposition parties in the upcoming parliamentary elections. “But I wish the National Democratic Party would win the majority seats,” he said.

The minister added that judicial supervision of the last elections in 2005 had many drawbacks. “Judges had to postpone many cases in order to attend,” he said, adding that a judge should not be turned into a clerk that supervises ballots.

“A judge should not attend personally. He can send someone to represent him,” he said. “That is why we have substituted direct judicial supervision of the elections with the Supreme Election Committee that we have formed for this purpose.”

Shehab went on to say that democracy in Europe is more mature than democracy in Egypt. “Our democracy is theoretical,” he said, expressing hope that it would be put into genuine practice.

Shehab stressed that a transparent electoral race is in the interest of all political parties.

“There are 24 political parties in Egypt, of which I only know four or five,” he said, noting that the Muslim Brotherhood group has benefited the most from the absence of the opposition parties in the 2005 elections. “They got more seats than they could handle,” he said.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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