Egypt’s main opposition block on Saturday accused President Mohamed Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood of attempted “vote rigging” in the country’s referendum on a new constitution.
The National Salvation Front, in a statement, expressed “deep concern… over the number of irregularities and violations in the holding of the referendum,” charging it “points to a clear desire for vote rigging by the Muslim Brotherhood.”
The statement, however, did not call for a boycott which the Front had threatened if it felt the referendum was unfair.
Instead it urged voters to reject the new constitution, which was largely drafted by Mursi’s Islamist allies.
The Front also released a separate document which contained a long list of alleged recorded irregularities.
The violations cited include; unsealed ballot papers, Muslim Brotherhood members coercing people into voting for the charter, an absence of judges to monitor and polls being closed early.
In an announcement posted on Twitter, former presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq said “the first case of vote rigging in Cairo” took place when the President cast his ballot in Cairo’s Nasr City. Shafiq claims Mursi’s registered in Zaqaziq in the eastern province and that is where he was supposed to vote.
The assertion was denied by authorities, who say Mursi shifted his registration to Cairo after he moved to the presidential palace.
Highlighting the tension in the run-up to the vote, nearly 120,000 army troops had been deployed Saturday to protect the polling stations. A radical Islamist group has added that it will send its own members to defend the stations alongside the army and police if violence was to break out.