EU Parliament resolution reveals prejudices against Egypt’s presidential elections: House

Amr Kandil , Friday 6 Oct 2023

The House of Representatives said that the European Parliament’s recent resolution on Egypt’s political and human rights affairs reveals prejudice against the country’s upcoming presidential elections, scheduled for December.

 House of Representatives
Egypt s House of Representatives. File photo


The European Parliament adopted a resolution on Wednesday, calling for Egypt’s authorities to hold “credible, free and fair elections” and stop “harassing peaceful opposition figures” including former MP and aspiring presidential candidate Ahmed El-Tantawy.

In a statement, the House of Representatives denounced the resolution as “part of a series of the European Parliament’s unjustified and desperate attempts to unlawfully evaluate, direct and hold accountable those beyond its member [states].”

The resolution disregards international conventions against foreign interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states, the statement added.

The House labelled the resolution “stillborn” and “lacking in credibility and impartiality.”

Numerous political parties and parliamentarians, as well as the Arab Parliament have also denounced the resolution as a “blatant interference” in Egypt's internal affairs.

‘Holding credible elections’

The House said the resolution’s call for credible, free and fair elections and an end to harassment of presidential candidates and opposition figures lacks objectivity.

“[These claims] reveal their negative prejudices about the electoral process,” the House said, stressing that the National Election Authority (NEA) remains impartial toward presidential hopefuls.

The election authority has earlier denied any violations or acts of favouritism or harassment towards electoral candidates, the statement noted.

The NEA also formed a committee to receive all complaints related to elections, the statement added.

Furthermore, the House said the resolution’s claims that authorities arrested at least 73 of El-Tantawy’s campaign staff and supporters are “contrary to the truth.”

“This claim aims at distorting the integrity of the electoral process,” the statement said, noting that El-Tantawy has not provided the names of those claimed to be arrested.

Egypt is gearing up for its presidential elections in December with multiple candidates expected to stand against incumbent President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, who is seeking re-election for a third term.

While some of the aspiring candidates have secured the required endorsements to run for president, others, including El-Tantawy have complained of “harassment” against their supporters, who must endorse them at notary offices nationwide.

As a precondition to run for president, the Egyptian constitution requires candidates to secure endorsements either from at least 20 MPs from the House of Representatives or 25,000 registered voters from at least 15 governorates, with a minimum of 1,000 endorsements from each governorate.

Voting in Egypt will take place 10-12 December, with Egyptians abroad casting their votes 1-3 December.

Political prisoners

In its resolution, the European Parliament for the “immediate and unconditional” release of “political prisoners,” including activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah and 20 journalists.

The resolution claims that the Egyptian state arrested double the number of people it has pardoned since May last year, claiming that those behind bars in Egypt “for peacefully expressing their opinion” total in the tens of thousands.

The House objected to the EU Parliament’s calls, saying they “meddle with the Egyptian judiciary, which was and is a sanctuary of justice.”

The House said these calls constitute “an unacceptable attempt to politicize the rulings [of the Egyptian judiciary].”

Detaining Hisham Kassem

The resolution also called for the Egyptian authorities to “immediately and unconditionally” release prominent publisher and activist Hisham Kassem and drop “politically motivated” charges against him.

The resolution called Kassem an “important liberal voice,” stressing that “defamation laws cannot be used to imprison political opponents.”

The House labelled these calls as “a breach of the Egyptian judicial authority’s independence, despite the European Parliament's frequent calls for that same independence.”

It deemed them an "unacceptable and reprehensible attempt to pressure the Egyptian judiciary before Kassem's scheduled appeal hearing against his imprisonment, scheduled for 7 October,” the House said.

Kassem faced legal action for insulting Kamal Abu Eita, a former minister and opposition figure, along with public employees. The House clarified that the legal process had been followed per Egyptian criminal law in this case.

European violations

In its statement, the House of Representatives called on the European Parliament to instead focus its efforts on violations of rights and freedoms by some of its own member states.

Some European countries are witnessing the violent suppression of freedom of expression and assembly by police forces, as well as racial and religious discrimination, the statement said.

Moreover, some European states display double standards with regard to refugees, as Ukrainian refugees have been welcomed while those from the Middle East and Africa face violence and inhumane treatment, the House asserted.

Short link: