Observers arrive to monitor Egypt's presidential elections

Ahram Online, Monday 21 May 2012

SPEC welcomes Carter and representatives from the US Congress and African Union after approving on Monday 53 NGO licenses to observe Egypt's first post-Mubarak presidential elections

Jimmy Carter, former US president and head of the Carter Center and US Congressman David Dreier arrived on Sunday along with a Congress delegation, as well as observers from African Union to observe Egypt’s upcoming presidential elections.

The Supreme Presidential Elections Commission (SPEC) reception committee welcomed the observers in VIP hall of Cairo's airport and accompanied them to Air Defence House.

Carter is scheduled to hold several meetings with government officials and political figures prior to the election.

The Carter Center is has distributed 14,000 judges across 352 main polling stations and 13,000 sub-polling stations. It has reportedly received requests from 923 foreign reporters to cover the historic event.

The Carter Centre is a US-based NGO devoted to democracy promotion. It is among three foreign non-government organisations that have been authorised by Egypt's SPEC to observe the polling process and vote-counting procedures.

The Carter Centre also played a role monitoring Egypt's parliamentary elections late last year.

Dreier is member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the board of the International Republican Institute. Dreier is the founding chairman of the House Democracy Partnership (HDP).

Earlier on Monday, SPEC approved 53 NGO licenses to observe Egypt's first post-Mubarak presidential elections.

Ismail Khairat, head of Egypt State Information Service, stated that there will be an international press conference at Cairo International Media Centre in cooperation with the communications ministry to facilitate the coverage of 329 foreign reporters in the electoral process.

Khairat stated that the authority has produced IDs for foreign reporters enabling them to enter polling stations in all governorates accredited by SPEC regulations.

Egypt's first post-Mubarak presidential poll will be held on 23 and 24 May, with a runoff round on 16 and 17 June if no single candidate wins an outright majority. Egypt's next president will be formally named on 21 June.


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