Egypt: Phase 1 of the parliamentary election

The Egyptian Center for Women's Rights
The Egyptian Center for Women's Rights (ECWR) received the final results from phase one of the parliamentary election of 2005, in which only two women nominated in the first phase won from 28 election districts.
We found in this first phase little democracy and a lot of violence, bribes and political deals. And the first targets were women.
ECWR was shocked by this undemocratic relapse, which represents a clear failure. Only six women were nominated by the National Democratic Party (NDP) and just one woman won. The national opposition, consisting of 21 political parties and movements nominated just 7 women. In addition, they are proud of this "democratic achievement," which is actually a setback not just for women but for the entire democratic transition process in Egypt.

Most of the women nominated by the parties stood for election in districts with very strong opponents, strong tribal values or a powerful opposing political movement, so were expected to not win.

The 28 women who ran as independents found the NDP candidates they ran against used money and other bribes to buy votes, as well as violence, such as the accident of candidate Sou'ad Tee'alab, and the treat of death and deformation of the faces of female candidates Magda El Newashy in Esma'alaia and Nashwa El Deeb in Embaba Circle.

Tribal values in the Egyptian community surfaced as women were harassed and female election campaign representatives, assistants and voters were turned away from the polls for supporting women candidates instead of men. Pressure from families also led some female candidates to withdraw, such as Ahlam El Kaddy in Assuit.

Finally, political dealing affected the candidacy of some women, such as Makarm El Deery, a candidate for the Muslim Brotherhood in Nasr City district. She achieved a landslide lead through the end of the voting, winning 12585 votes against the NDP candidate's 1400 votes. But afterwards, her nomination was declared invalid.

The result was that just one woman won in the election, Shahenaz El Nagar, in El Manial district. ECWR considers this a loss for all women.

And the future still holds more surprises.

The Egyptian Center for Women's Rights
135 Misr-Helwan El Zeraay
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