CAIRO: The Foreign Ministry has reacted harshly to news that the Carter Center, the NGO founded by former U.S. President and Nobel Peace Prize-winner Jimmy Carter, will be closing its Egypt branch due to what it called in a Wednesday statement Egypt’s “deeply polarized and narrowed political environment.”
“The Carter Center notified Egypt of its closure in August for pure logistic considerations and to redirect electoral monitoring resources to other countries, which contradicts the reasons it cited recently,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a Saturday statement. The Carter Center’s withdrawal also means it will not monitor parliamentary elections initially promised to be conducted by the end of the year.
The ministry statement went on to described the Carter Center’s reasoning for its closure as “erroneous,” and said it “lacked objectivity and accuracy,” especially in regards to its monitoring of the January constitutional referendum and the May presidential election.
“Both Egyptian civil society and international organizations face an increasingly restrictive environment that hinders their ability to conduct credible election observation,” the Wednesday Carter Center statement read.
The ministry shot back saying the last presidential election witnessed unprecedented participation by organizations like the European Union, the African Union, COMESA, the Arab League and other organizations.
Egypt was in the past already highly critical of the Carter Center for its monitoring of the presidential election.