How the Muslim Brotherhood bent the rules to win an election

In Cairo’s Saida Zeinab neighborhood, at one of the busiest polling centers in the city, we saw a party member and two other supporters of an independent candidate passing out leaflets to voters waiting in long lines to cast their ballots – in clear violation of election laws. Soldiers who were on site for crowd control, did nothing to stop them. At the same spot, a tech-savvy FJP member sat on a bench, laptop in hand, to conduct exit polls. At other polling stations, they provided polling information to baffled voters.

In a more economically disadvantaged part of Cairo known as “The Slaughterhouse,” Hanan Nasr, a mother of three, watched FJP members pass out free packages of rice and oil to voters on their way to the polling station – again in contravention of campaign law. They also bused in party members from surrounding neighborhoods…

Although Nasr voted for a liberal party, her son, Ali, opted for the only party he was familiar with, the FJP. Some FJP members had been signing up voters in Nasr’s neighborhood in the run up to the election and distributed free school supplies. And before the recent Eid al-Adha or Feast of the Sacrifice holiday, the one time of year when everybody in Egypt must have meat to celebrate the holiday, the FJP sold meat at half the market price to Cairo’s many disadvantaged.