Supporters of the defeated candidates in Egypt’s presidential election are claiming that vote-rigging helped re-elect Hosni Mubarak.
During a protest march through the centre of Cairo one woman said: “Mubarak is illegitimate and invalid in this country. We do not accept him as our president – 24 years is just enough.” Although the election was contested for the first time, the result – a Mubarak win – was never in doubt. Some opposition parties boycotted the poll. Others, like the Muslim Brotherhood, were banned. In addition, candidates were unfamiliar to the electorate. Mubarak’s main rival, Ayman Nour of the liberal al-Ghad party, officially won just over seven per cent of the vote. But he and other oppositon parties claim the poll was fraudulent. He said that according to the count of all provinces except three, his percentage was 32.5 per cent. It is impossible, he argues, that after counting the three remaining provinces, his percentage could decrease to just seven-and-a-half percent. The electoral commission has rejected all such allegations declaring the vote stands. The international community views the poll as a first step towards political reform but there are calls for any flaws to be corrected before parliamentary elections in November.