AU to monitor parliamentary elections: FM
An Egyptian casts his vote - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: The African Union will send Egypt a 50-60-member mission to monitor the parliamentary elections that are scheduled to start March 21, stated the Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Badr Abdel-Atty Sunday.

The monitoring members will be in Egypt for four weeks before the elections, Abdel Atty added, noting the members will be chosen from African non-governmental organizations.

The AU had monitored with a 45-member delegation the Presidential elections with a delegation headed by former Mauritanian Prime Minister Mohamed Lamine Ould Ahmed in May 2014.

The European Parliament said Jan. 15 that it would not send Egypt a full mission to monitor the parliamentary elections, saying the Presidential elections in which President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi won “did not meet international standards.” The Parliament added that “hence, it is not appropriate to send a mission of monitors.”

The HEC has thus far accepted requests to monitor the elections from five international organizations and 63 local NGOs, stated the HEC head Ayman Abbas Saturday, without listing the names.

The registration window for NGOs with the Committee to Monitor the Elections ended Jan. 20. There were number of other local organizations, however, that have complained about the limited time of registration. The National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) called on the High Elections Committee (HEC) to extend the period of receiving non-governmental organizations requests.

Some 55 million voters are eligible to cast their ballots to elect the country’s new House of Representatives over a 47-day voting period in the polling period that will begin in March.

The elections will be carried out in two phases; the first round will be conducted March 22 and 23 in 14 governorates, while Egyptian expatriates who were born in the first round governorates will cast their votes March 21 and 22, Abbas said in a press conference on Jan. 8.

The second round will be held on April 19 and 20 in 12 governorates, and the expats will vote on April 25 and 26, he noted. The runoff will be conducted on May 5 and 6 for expat voters, while voters inside Egypt will cast their ballots May 6 and 7.

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