Would the president instruct the investigation of those violations?Children voters [Archives:2003/633/Front Page]

April 27 2003
Boys as young as 7 years old waiting to vote in Amran, April 27. Photo by Saddam Al-Ashmoori
Boys as young as 7 years old waiting to vote in Amran, April 27. Photo by Saddam Al-Ashmoori
By Saddam Al-Ashmoori
YT Amran Correspondent

In a time international observers and election monitors have been busy monitoring elections in main cities, outrageous violations did occur in large numbers in remote areas. As can be seen in the photo, tens of voters of ineligible age were given election cards and allowed to vote not only once, but multiple times on Sunday.
Children between 7 and 15 years old were forming long queues at the polling center (290) in Ashmoor district in Amran governorate. The violations seemed to be taking place with the collaboration of the Supreme Commission for Elections and Referendum (SCER) as many security men and official representatives of the SCER allowed this to take place.
When one of the citizens in the area demanded this mockery to stop, he was silenced and taken away by tribesmen in the area.
Those children were given their election cards just before elections started perhaps as a precautionary measure not to be discovered before elections. All those students were threatened that they would be punished severely by their teachers if they did not show up to vote for the ruling party (GPC). Absent students were replaced by others who were allowed to vote sometimes twice. There were two types of ink to mark the voters' fingers. The type of ink used for those children was easily removable so as to allow multiple votes to occur.
Officials in the center refused to comment on those violations and demanded that those practices not be published in the press.
It is hoped that those violations along with others that took place in remote areas in the country be investigated by the authorities and hope those responsible in the SCER be accountable.