Cablegate: Egypt Parliamentary Elections - Nov 9 Round -

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

091016Z Nov 05




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: A. CAIRO 8501

B. CAIRO 8392
C. CAIRO 8274
D. CAIRO 8112

Sensitive but Unclassified. Please protect accordingly.

1. (SBU) Appearing on State TV on the evening of November 8,
President Mubarak urged citizens to excersise their right to
vote, characterizing it as a "national duty." On the morning
of November 9, polls opened at 8 AM in eight of Egypt's 26
governorates. According to Embassy teams deployed in five
governorates, turnout as of midday has been generally light
in urban areas but significantly heavier in rural areas.
There have been scattered reports of domestic election
monitors encountering difficulties in accessing polling
stations. Emboff witnessed an incident at a polling station
in rural Giza in which a group of domestic observers were
roughed up by a much larger group of thugs, of uncertain
affiliation. Some more detailed snapshots from the field are
presented below.

Snapshots from the Field

2. (SBU) Polls in the Central Cairo Qasr al-Nile
constituency, where the Embassy is located, were relatively
quiet in the mid-morning with more campaign workers than
voters in attendance at around 9:30 AM local time. At two of
the stations, large banners hung promoting Muslim Brotherhood
candidates running as independents and with the slogan,
"Islam is the Solution." The banners dwarfed the smaller NDP
banners. MB workers stood outside wearing t-shirts with the
candidate,s image. There were multiple posters for NDP and
independent candidates. Of note are the paraphernalia that
are liberally distributed to voters and observers alike.

3. (SBU) (Note: The Qasr Al Nil district, where the U.S.
Embassy is located, features an interesting three-way race
between the ruling party nominee Hossam Badrawy, a strong
reform advocate and associate of Gamal Mubarak, and
independent (NDP) candidate Hisham Mustafa Khalil, and Muslim
Brotherhood candidate Gamal Abdel Salam. Khalil is rumored to
be the NDP,s "true choice" even though Badrawy is the
official party nominee. Badrawy's defeat would likely be
interpreted as a setback for the NDP's reform camp. End

4. (SBU) Menoufiya Governorate (in the Nile Delta northwest
of Cairo) -- Embassy observers reported a high voter turnout
before 10 AM local time. Active campaigning is in force with
car megaphones and print materials abounding. Large numbers
of banners are strewn everywhere, even along small dirt
roads. MB banners are prevalent. There is a large presence
of riot police ) 10 large trucks and officers in full riot
gear although there has been no sign of unrest. At least one
candidate's banner has been sighted using the forbidden term
of 'General' as a professional title, Ali Shawky Miqlud.
Poloff received a call from a local observer from the NCME,
National Campaign for Monitoring Elections in the town of
Betanoun who noted that voters are using ink pads rather than
dipping their thumbs in the required ink.

5. (SBU) In Qawaz, a rural constituency in Giza province,
emboff witnessed a group of 30-50 thugs, of uncertain
identity, attack a group of domestic observers attempting to
access a polling station. The observers were violently
jostled and shoved, emboff did not stay to witness the
outcome - an observer affiliated with the group told emboff
just before this incident that he had been roughed up at

6. (SBU) Zeitoun Constituency -- Embassy observers reported
heavy voter turnout from Zeitoun, (35 KM north of Beni Suef).
The obvious front runner is Zakaria Azmy (the President,s
Chief of Staff). Some Muslim Brotherhood banners were also
hung on the wall of the polling station. At the station, 10
transparent ballot boxes were in use and voters were dipping
their thumbs in ink. Security was low key.

7. (SBU) Shubra, in the northern suburbs of Cairo ) Embassy
observer reported low turnout, orderly scenes at polling
stations, and a heavy presence of MB campaign workers several
of whom described themselves as "monitors" affiliated with
the MB,s "Sawasiya Center for Human Rights." Banners from
ruling NDP candidates coexisted with multiple banners from
various opposition candidates, including MB candidates. At
one Shubra polling site, MB "monitors" told us the station
had no ink. The MB "monitors" went out and bought their own
at a stationary store and supplied it to the electoral
officials inside, where it was being used. They noted they
were unsure how to make the ink "phosphorescent" in
conformity with national election standards.

Press Guidance

8. (SBU) As polling stations will still be open in Egypt at
the time of the noon press briefing, we recommend any
official remarks on the elections be brief, possibly along
the following lines:

Begin text

Egypt's parliamentary elections, which opened today, are
another step on Egypt's path toward democratic reform.
President Mubarak has encouraged the Egyptian people to
increase their participation in public life, as an essential
step toward a fully democratic Egypt. We support this goal.
We have been following closely today's voting, and we will
continue to do so during the two subsequent rounds and any

End text.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Climate Change: Record Northern Heat, Fuels Concerns Over US Wildfire Destruction

More than 78,000 acres of forest in the Sierra mountains in California has been lost due to wildfires. Photo: San Francisco Fire Department The northern hemisphere experienced its warmest August ever, the World Meteorological Organization ( WMO ... More>>

UN: Guterres Condemns Killing Of Journalists, Following Beheading Of Mexican Crime Reporter

© UNESCO | International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists. Following the gruesome death of a Mexican journalist specializing in crime reporting, who was found beheaded on Wednesday, UN chief António Guterres has issued a statement condemning ... More>>

UN: WHO Warns Against Potential Ebola Spread In DR Congo And Beyond

Ebola is spreading in a western province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), raising fears that the disease could reach neighbouring Republic of Congo and even the capital, Kinshasa, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday. ... More>>

WWF: Living Planet Report Reveals Average Two-Thirds Decline In Wildlife Populations Since 1970

According to WWF’s Living Planet Report 2020 released today, global populations* of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish have suffered an average two-thirds decline in less than half a century. The decline is due in large part to the very ... More>>