HPEC licenses 79 Egyptian, 6 int’l organizations to observe elections
YOUM7/Islam Osama

CAIRO: A total of 79 Egyptian NGOs were licensed to observe the upcoming presidential elections, Youm7 reported Saturday.

The High Presidential Elections Committee (HPEC) also licensed six international organizations out of 13 that applied to observe the elections, el-Watan News reported.

“The state is keen on the transparency and integrity of the [presidential] elections, and we welcome international monitoring of the process,” Minister of Justice Nayyer Othman told Hayat TV April 13.

The HPEC refrained from licensing some local and international organizations due to lack of experience or their low number of observers, reported Youm7.

These factors would impact the impartiality of the organizations’ final report on the elections for covering only some governorates, a source in HPEC told Youm7.

The HPEC announced signing memorandums mid-April with the European Union and the Arab League on observing the elections.

Six thousand monitors were approved to observe the constitutional referendum in January 2014, 790 of whom were foreigners affiliated with six “high-profile international organizations,” according to Ahram Online.

U.S.-based Democracy International (DI) was the largest international observation mission to the 2014 referendum with over 80 observers, according to a DI statement published Jan. 17.

DI noted some electoral violations in its statement, saying that “there is no evidence that such problems substantially affected the outcome of this referendum, but they could affect the integrity or the credibility of more closely contested electoral processes in the future.”

The first round of presidential elections will be held May 26 and 27, and May 15 and 18 for Egyptians living abroad. The second round of presidential elections, if needed, will be held June 16 and 17.

The HPEC will accept challenges to its decision June 19, and the final results of the elections will be announced June 26.

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