EU not to monitor elections, Carter Center concerned over ‘restrictive context’
Jimmy Carter - REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar
By THE CAIRO POST

CAIRO: The European Union will not deploy observers to monitor the presidential elections because Cairo has not permitted “essential security and safety equipment,” Reuters quoted an unnamed EU official as saying Saturday.

The EU had signed a memorandum of understanding on April 13 with the High Presidential Election Committee (HPEC) to monitor the elections.

“Despite our best efforts and repeated requests, it proved impossible to have the telecommunication equipment and medical kits essential to ensure the security and safety of observers released on time,” the official told Reuters.

“It is now too late for the long-term observers to conduct a meaningful observation,” the official added.

The EU, however, will send a smaller team to Cairo with “more limited scope” of elections’ observation, Reuters reported.

The Carter Center has also expressed concern over the restrictive political and legal context surrounding the electoral process in a Friday statement.

“I am gravely concerned that Egypt’s democratic transition has faltered. Egypt’s next president should take immediate steps to foster dialogue and political accommodation to ensure that the full spectrum of Egyptian society can participate meaningfully in politics,” said former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.

“Constitutional reforms, based on inclusive dialogue and consensus-building efforts, also would help to create a shared vision for Egyptian society. These and other steps forward will be possible only if all Egyptians renounce violence and commit to peaceful political dialogue and reconciliation,” he added.

The center deployed 10 people to focus on the broader legal and political context of the elections rather than to observe the election day procedures.

The statement included a number of recommendations to “open political space before the presidential elections” and to “advance political accommodation” ahead of parliamentary elections.

The recommendations included ending the “government crackdown” on dissenting forces, citing the banned groups the Muslim Brotherhood and April 6 Youth Movement.

Another recommendation was to rescind the protest law, draft a parliamentary elections law so it is accommodates political inclusion and pursue national reconciliation.

Eighty local and six international NGOs, including COMESA and Democracy International, will take part in monitoring the presidential elections on May 26 and 27, according to Al-Ahram.

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