Egypt needs a more open, democratic path moving forward: US State Department

Ahram Online, Saturday 24 May 2014

In a presser, a US State Department spokesperson says Egypt needs to take a 'different path' ahead that doesn't include detention for those expressing dissent

US State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf (Photo: AP)

Egypt needs a take a different path moving forward, one that is more open, more transparent and doesn’t entailing locking people up simply for expressing dissent, US State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf said Friday ahead of Egypt's presidential elections.

Harf said, during a State Department daily press briefing, that the US has noted over many months the "shrinking space for dialogue, for peaceful protest, for freedom of the press" in Egypt.

Egyptians are expected to cast their ballots 26-27 May in the country's second presidential elections in two years. Former military chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi are the only two contenders in the presidential race, with El-Sisi expected to win by a landslide.

Harf said the US will have a number of observers monitoring the Egyptian presidential elections. Until then, the US doesn't have any predictions on the fairness and transparency of the elections, she said.

However, the spokesman said her country has "engaged with the different parties in Egypt to encourage a fair and transparent election."

Since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi on 3 July 2013, the US has issued a number of statements expressing alarm at a number of practices of Egypt's new authorities, including mass death sentences against Islamists and a crackdown on Morsi supporters.

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