Saturday, April 20, 2019

Voting Girl 2019 : Constitutional amendments referendum edition "Updated"

Pink finger
The pink finger is back
Your Voting girl is back with her pink finger: Constitutional amendments referendum 2019 edition. As a good Egyptian, I participated in the constitutional amendments referendum. 

I voted against the amendments and I guess I made my point here in that post. 

What have I seen? I was lucky enough to take a quick tour in the main Agouza and Downtown Cairo polling station.

I have seen it all and seen it first hand. I heard to first-hand accounts and second-hand accounts.

I have seen how working-class ladies wearing their black abayas bringing their kids and neighbors standing in queues to get those food supplies coupons for their vote in makeshift kiosks set up by MPs and members of Pro-regime parties like The future of Homeland.

Seeking "help" at a makeshift tent
One of those makeshift "help" tents in Downtown Cairo on Sunday
Egyptian women voters standing in queue in a polling station
Working classes ladies standing in a queue outside a polling station "Technical journalism institution" in Boulaq
Abu Ela, Cairo on Saturday 

Some of those MPs even boldly distributed leaflets with pictures on them as coupons.

Those makeshift kiosks and tents gave those ladies coupons and after they went to vote in favor of "Sisi" or the amendments. "Some of those ladies thought that they were going to vote in presidential elections".
A makeshift tent for "helping the voters"
That makeshift tent is set up by the head of street vendors syndicate Mohamed Adham Omran in Boulaq Abu Ela
Once again the banners say "yes for the constitution" right in front a polling station
After voting, those ladies with colored finger "as proof that they voted" went to another outlet and sometimes small groceries to get a cartoon box of food supplies by showing their colored finger and coupons.
That food supplies cartoon box is good for this poor class as Ramadan is a couple of days away. The food supplies cartoon box consisted of a bottle of oil, a small can of margarine, a packet of sugar and a packet of pasta and a packet of rice.

I saw how some of the voters from that category that came for the cartoon box asked the judges supervising the polling stations and how that question annoyed the judges.

"This is the third man today asking me about those coupons," said a judge to her assistant in a polling station at Jamal Abdel Nasser school in Dokki. A very old man asked her about those coupons and whether he would get one of those boxes and she answered that there was nothing distributed in her polling station.

"In Shubra, it is distributed everywhere," He said in a fragile voice.

I saw how the working classes internal migrants from Egyptians who are working in Cairo when they are from other governorates are gathered in micro-buses to head to that polling station in Downtown Cairo.  Those workers were from poor street cleaners.
Voters at a Cairo polling station
The internal migrant street cleaners in a Cairo polling station 

Outside a Giza polling station
One of those microbuses in Agouza district at Komwia language school polling station
At the same time, you could see the "Yes for amendments signs" right beside the polling station's entrance in a clear violation to the Elections laws and rules. 
I saw how a young man who is very tall and looked like an internal migrant from Upper Egypt like galabiya came to a polling station located at Komia language school in Agouza district in Giza with a food coupon and his ID card to vote only to know that he did not reach the age to vote in the first place.

On Sunday, the State information service slammed foreign media reports that spoke about those food supplies in cartoon boxes and how they were used as a motive for voting. On Monday, we began to listen and see how the mainstream media blamed it on the Muslim Brotherhood but at the same time, the Future of Homeland party did not deny that its members were distributing food supplies.

"You are mixing up the charity with electoral publicity" The party claimed in its media statement in an attempt to defend itself.

I saw first hand how the Pro-Constitutional amendments banners were in front of the polling stations in a direct violation to the rules of the voting that prohibit any kind of electoral publicity directly outside the polling stations.
"Yes for amendments" banner in Cairo
Exhibit one in a Downtown Cairo polling station 
"Yes for amendments" banner in Cairo
Exhibit two at the same polling station, the ad on the building itself !! 
I read all those online testimonies from reports, foreign correspondents and friends as well from Sisi's own supporters who were shocked to see such scene repeating after all those years.
For a better future in Egypt
"Come and participate in the constitutional amendments referendum for a better future"
Said the screen installed along with big speakers blasting patriotic song in front of an Agouza polling station
in Giza on the first day of the referendum in Egypt.
It was like the old NDP days as well the old days of MB after 2011 when it followed the same old technique of allegedly buying the voters of the poor voters by boxes of food supplies. Anyhow some people do not get the lesson of what happened to the NDP.  

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