Carter Center to observe Egypt's presidential elections

Ahram Online, Tuesday 15 May 2012

Delegates will be in charge of observing presidential election procedures as well as campaigning and voting processes

The US-based Carter Center, led by former president Jimmy Carter, announced in a press release on 14 May that it will observe Egypt's first historical presidential elections after last year's ousting of strongman Hosni Mubarak.

The centre has received accreditation from Egypt’s Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission (SPEC) and intends to evaluate the electoral process "based on Egypt’s national legal framework and its obligations for democratic elections contained in regional and international agreements."

The Carter Center will send a delegation assembled of a panel of 80 representatives from over 35 nations as well as deploy 22 international representatives from 14 countries to travel to Egypt several days before the upcoming election.

The participants will be observing the procedures of the presidential elections from administrative tasks to counting and tabulation processes even observing campaigning and voting processes. However, the press release stated, "the witnessing mission is limited in scope in speaking publicly" due to its late accreditation.

According to the press release, the centre's election mission is conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation and Code of Conduct. The centre was one of the collaborating organisations that participated in the drawing up of the declaration and accompanying code of conduct that were formally endorsed at a ceremony hosted by the United Nations in 2005.

Earlier on Tuesday, Victoria Nuland, spokesperson for the US State Department said in a daily press briefing: "As all of our embassies do around the world when there’s an election underway, I’m sure that they will be in contact with their various Egyptian friends and contacts for a sense of how the day went, but we are not mounting an official monitoring operation."

Egypt's presidential elections will take place on 23 and 24 May, with a runoff vote on 16 and 17 June.

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