Logo of the National Archives ((Photo: AL-Ahram)
The National Archive has called on the Presidential Election Commission to hand over all documents from the recent presidential election, which was won by Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, so they can be preserved and indexed for research purposes.
Abdel-Wahed El-Nabawy, head of the archive, told Ahram Online that documents about “such an important moment in Egyptian history should be handed over to the National Archive.”
He asserted that the law and the constitution, especially Article 68, oblige all official bodies to hand their documents over to the archive once they are finished with them.
The archive said in a letter to the PEC that it had the required space and devices to keep the documents safe and preserved.
El-Nabawy said the documents would be kept at the new National Archive building in the Al-Siraarea district of Cairo, which will be opened soon.
The archive offered to give all necessary technical and logistical support to the PEC in order to move the documents and index them.
The archive lacks modern state documents because most official bodies, especially the military, foreign affairs, interior and the presidency stopped handing over their documents in the middle of the last century.
El-Nabawy has also called on the PEC to hand over documents from the 2012 presidential election, which was won by Mohamed Morsi.
“The last papers from any election we received are from 2005. Since then we have not been handed any election papers. We requested the 2012 election papers but there has been a delay due to the controversy over whether Morsi was the winner or not. This matter is now in court,” El-Nabway explained.
Mohamed Morsi won the 2012 elections in a runoff against Mubarak-era prime minister Ahmed Shafiq. Allegations of voter fraud are being investigated.
Preserving the papers of the Egyptian state in one place started in 1829 when Mohamed Ali Pasha, the founder of the modern state, established an archive at the Cairo Citadel.
The National Archive has been at its current location since 1954. A new annex to the building is under construction.
The new building is to house over 35 million documents in a high-technology setting with air modifiers and thermal control systems, in addition to advanced restoration laboratories. The new building is being tested by engineers to ensure it is ready to receive the documents.