Daily Israel Report

‘Democracy’ in Egypt: Ballot List Six-Feet Long

The weeks-long “democratic” vote in Egypt features a six-foot long ballot list of 3,009 candidates and an $85 fine for non-voters.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 11/29/2011, 3:44 PM

The weeks-long “democratic” vote in Egypt features a six-foot long ballot list of 3,009 candidates, symbols – some of them sexist or biased – for political parties, an $85 fine for anyone who does not vote, and separate voting lines for men and women.

One-third of the Egyptian public is illiterate, so authorities use symbols instead of names of political parties. The problem is that the pictures are not always complimentary.

Two candidates complained because one was assigned a lemon and the other a women’s dress, reported the London Daily Mail’s Tom Greenhill. Even worse, on woman candidate was assigned the symbol of a rocket, which is viewed as an object indicating promiscuity.

Other symbols include a woodpecker, a tractor, a pen and a banana.

The “democratic” elections also allowed Muslim Brotherhood officials to hang around polling stations to “help” people decide how to vote.

Tens of thousands turned out Tuesday for the second day of two weeks of voting in several provinces, to be followed by elections in other areas and run-off votes in December and January. The world press reports that the nation's first “free” voting in 30 years is being carried out, but the provisional military regime has refused to allow the presence of international monitors supervisors.

There are 2,357 independent candidates vying for 57 seats and 1,452 party candidates for 112 other seats. Voters pick one party and two independent candidates, but the complicated process has left many people confused.