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Washington looks forward to working with El-Sisi, urges Egypt to enact reforms

The White House urges Egypt's president-elect to adopt democratic reforms, including governing with accountability and transparency and protecting the universal rights of Egyptians

Ahram Online , Wednesday 4 Jun 2014
Sisi
Egypt's presidential candidate and former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi gestures during an interview with Reuters in Cairo May 14, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)
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Washington stated on Wednesday it looks forward to working with Egypt's president-elect Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, urging his government to ensure freedoms and enact democratic reforms.

Former army chief El-Sisi has scored a crushing victory in last week's election, garnering nearly 97 percent of the valid ballots. He has trounced his only rival, leftist politician and long-time opposition figure Hamdeen Sabahi, who gained a modest 3.9 percent.

The election was held almost a year after El-Sisi led the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi on the back of massive street protests against his troubled reign.

Washington looks forward to working with El-Sisi to "to advance our strategic partnership and the many interests shared by the United States and Egypt", the White House said in a statement.

It said President Barack Obama, currently travelling in Europe, plans to speak to El-Sisi in the coming days.

The US administration was pleased that international monitors were allowed to observe the vote, added the statement, noting that observers found the vote was administered "professionally and in line with Egyptian laws".

The White House has however echoed concerns voiced by observers about the "restrictive political environment" in which the election took place.

"We have consistently expressed our concerns about limits on freedom of peaceful assembly, association, and expression and call upon the government to ensure these freedoms as well as due process rights for all Egyptians."

It urged the new president to enact democratic reforms, including protecting the rights of Egyptians.

"We urge the President-elect and the government to adopt the reforms that are needed to govern with accountability and transparency, ensure justice for every individual, and demonstrate a commitment to the protection of the universal rights of all Egyptians," the statement read.

With parliamentary elections scheduled to take place later this year, the US urged Egypt to consider recommendations to improve the manner in which future elections are held.

"True democracy is built on a foundation of rule of law, civil liberties, and open political discourse," the statement said.

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