Today, Friday, six opposition political parties announced the unification of their positions regarding the course of the polling day expected tomorrow, Saturday, expressing their great concern about gaps that marred the preparation for the legislative, regional and local elections.
These are the parties of the National Rally for Reform and Development (Tawasul), the Democratic Forces Bloc, the Union of Progressive Forces and Righteousness, the Progressive Popular Alliance, and the Alliance for Justice and Democracy/Renewal Movement.
Today, Friday, representatives of these parties held a press conference at the headquarters of the Tawasul Party, in which Mohamed Ould Mouloud, head of the Union of Progressive Forces Party, said: “We agreed in the opposition to form a follow-up committee, whose mission is to inform the media, the government, and the committee about our positions on what will happen on polling day, and we will unite in it.” Our positions.”
Ould Mouloud explained that, since last March, the parties have entered into a “series of consultations,” which he said led to “sending a letter to the Elections Commission, in which we present appeals to many polling stations, and some other demands related to our representation.”
He added that the committee’s handling of the letter was “positive as usual,” but he said that the committee had always dealt positively with the opposition’s demands, but it did not fulfill its promises, adding: “We hope that the situation will be different this time, and that they fulfill their promises.”
Ould Mouloud announced that the opposition “formed a joint technical committee (for electoral processes) to undertake the collection of information and results.” These parties also decided that “their representation in the polling stations should be unified. covering the entire national territory.
Ould Mouloud said: “We are very concerned about some of the news we received about registration on the electoral list, and we demand an immediate investigation of the electoral list, how can the electoral list include the names of citizens who did not register themselves on the list.”
The head of the Union of Progressive Forces party reviewed the course of contacts between them and the Elections Commission, and said: “It must be recalled here that the electoral process takes place within the framework of a political agreement between all parties and the government represented by the Minister of Interior, signed last year. This agreement we were all keen to implement, but in In March, we noticed that there are measures taken by the Independent Elections Commission that are not in line with the spirit of the agreement.”
He added that the first of these procedures “is to set the date for the elections, which should have been either legal (August or September) or consensual, and we expressed to them our opposition to organizing the elections in May, but they insisted on that, and we got over it.”
He explained that at the beginning of last March they sent a letter containing five demands “in favor of enhancing transparency guarantees,” noting that “one of them is the extension of the period of the administrative census of an electoral nature, whose period did not exceed one month, and it is a new census and not a review or supplement to the electoral list. So one month would not be enough, but the committee rejected that under the pretext of the polling date.”
Ould Mouloud concluded that gradually, “the date they set for the polls became a pretext for rejecting most of the demands that we put forward.” Gaps resulting from speed, but they refused to do so because time no longer allows it.
Ould Mouloud said that the third requirement was “consulting with the parties about the formation of voting stations, but that did not happen. We also asked them to combat fraud by using the specific fingerprint machine compared to the identification card that was used in the census, to be used on polling day, and to be circulated in all polling stations.” “.
Regarding these demands, Mawloud said that the committee initially refused, “under the pretext that the company producing the machine needs at least four months, and when we investigated, we discovered that this excuse was incorrect, and that the company was ready to provide the sufficient quantity of the machine in less than a few weeks, at that time the committee said that it She will start looking for the machine, but the problem is the budget, because that will cost her a billion ounces, and they have to apply to the government in order to obtain it, and in the end they told us that the government did not provide them with funding.”
Nevertheless, the head of the Union of Progressive Forces Party, who was speaking on behalf of these six parties, confirmed that “all contacts with the committee were cordial, and took place in a relaxed and reassuring atmosphere, with a high level of positivity, but the final result was always lacking, and this is a problem.”
He added, “So we went to the elections in this situation, and there is no doubt that we are very concerned, because after the formation of the voting offices, we contacted them and informed them that the agreement stipulates the necessity of consulting with us as political parties in forming these offices, which was not done and must be achieved. They informed us that they will immediately demand Of all the regional committees to review the parties in the formation of offices, which has not been done so far.
In the same context, he said, “There is a great danger, because the committee decided to return the same voting stations that were used in the previous poll, which was a poll that was accompanied by a great uproar and objections to its results, and we do not understand why returning the same offices, and this is not reassuring, and we informed them of that.”
He concluded that “some of the provisions of the political agreement were not implemented under the pretext that time no longer allows, for example the National Observatory for Monitoring Elections, which includes civil society bodies, has not been formed, and the state neutrality law has also not been reviewed.”