Democracy International will observe Egypt’s presidential elections
An Egyptian casts his vote - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: Democracy International (DI) is set to monitor all stages of the upcoming presidential elections, the United Sates Embassy in Cairo said Tuesday in a press release on the embassy website.

“The Egyptian Presidential Election Commission recently accredited DI, as well as five other international organizations and 79 Egyptian organizations, to observe the presidential election process in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, and international commitments,” the embassy said in the press release.

DI stated on its website that the High Presidential Elections Committee invited the organization to observe the different measures adopted for the 2014 polls, including the previous constitutional referendum and the expected parliamentary and presidential elections.

The organization added that during the constitutional referendum, last January, they observed the two days of voting in 23 governorates, starting with the opening of the polling stations on the first day until counting the votes on the second day.

DI issued a detailed report about the organization’s experience in the referendum, where they discussed many points, including media coverage of the process, saying, “Egyptian media coverage of the referendum was strongly biased in favor of adoption of the constitution.”

The report added that the government and its opposition should conduct a dialogue to assist in achieving “broader participation in the political process.”

The U.S. based organization recommended that authorities adjust electoral measures to be more consistent with international standards, and to review and amend the protest law, as well as training judges and other polling stations officials, in addition to moving towards political reconciliation.

The High Presidential Elections Committee issued a statement on March 29 on the regulations concerning observation by foreign and international civil society organizations.

The committee stated, “Observation of the electoral process includes all activities such as monitoring and observing all the procedures.”

The procedures include electoral campaigns, the process of voting and vote-counting, in addition to the announcement of the results.

The committee added that it is forbidden for observers to interfere in electoral process in any way, whether by influencing voters, or endorsing candidates.

Observers have permission to access polling stations after showing the concerned officials the identification cards issued by the HPEC. The HPEC can revoke the observation license in the case that the monitor or the organization violates the law or regulations.

The presidential elections are scheduled to be held on May 26 and 27.

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