EU explains election monitoring process, assures non-interference
The European Union election assessment team to Egypt - AFP/ Khaled Desouki
By RANDA EL-BANNA

CAIRO: The European Union Election Observation Mission (EOM) explained its election monitoring process, ahead of presidential elections scheduled for May 26 and 27, during a Monday press conference in Cairo.

The European Union had announced it would monitor Egypt’s presidential elections on Sunday, after initially stating on Saturday that it would only send observers due to problems with obtaining authorization from Egyptian authorities to use their equipment.

“We will not interfere in the electoral process; we are here to observe and deliver a report on May 29, 2014,” quoted Chief Observer Mario David, member of the European Parliament from Portugal. He also added that the equipment will not affect the sovereignty of Egypt and that they are just “standard equipments” that are used in communication and not broadcasting.

The monitoring of the electoral process “is not limited to the two days of the electoral process,” David said during the press conference.

The first delegation group arrived in Egypt on April 18, consisting of ten members including a legal expert, elections expert, human rights expert, gender expert, media expert, data analysis expert, and two observer coordinators to prepare reports than help observe the elections.

The second group of 30 observers arrived on April 25, 2014. And the rest are expected to arrive this week. The EOM consists of 100 members and will operate according to the initial agreement between the E.U. and the Egyptian Government and the Egyptian Supreme electoral committee after the Egyptian government sent an invitation to the EU to observe the elections.

“Because of the delays, we need to adjust our mission to operate in line with our standard observation rules,” David said and that the EOM does not legitimize an electoral process nor does it validate any election results.

The observation also included observing the expats poll stations through the live broadcast from the High Presidential Elections Committee (HPEC,) David said. The observing process includes observing registration of voters, media acting towards the elections, two electoral campaign work and how do they gather people for voting to them, any violations that can take place during the electoral process, visiting polling stations at random in large cities and some rural areas, and finally observing the process of counting votes and issuing the final report on May 29 in a press conference.

Regarding monitoring the parliamentary elections, David said that if they were invited they would definitely come but it is too early to talk about it.

David also said that EOM members met with the two electoral campaigns but did not meet with those who announced boycotting the elections because this is the people’s will and “we will not interfere in Egyptians’ will in any way,” quoted David.

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