Carter Center Confirms it will not Observe Egypt’s Parliamentary Elections

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The Carter Center reiterated on Monday its decision not to monitor Egypt’s upcoming parliamentary elections, scheduled for March and April.

“The Carter Center has no current plans to be involved in observing the upcoming elections in Egypt,” programme director David Carroll told Aswat Masriya via email, adding that “there has been no change in [our] decision.”

The democracy watchdog had announced it would not observe the upcoming parliamentary elections in a statement released in October 2014.

“In the current context, it is unclear whether the Center … would now be required to register as [an] NGO in order to conduct operations. Likewise, it is not clear whether electoral authorities would accredit the Center and ensure meaningful access to observe the upcoming elections,” the statement by the centre read.

“While the Carter Center will not be present for the coming elections, it hopes that conditions for nonpartisan election observation will improve in the future,” the statement added.

The decision came after the centre announced the closure of its office in Egypt in October 2014, after assessing that the political environment in Egypt was “deeply polarised and that political space has narrowed for Egyptian political parties, civil society, and the media.”

The Carter Center began operating in Egypt in May 2011, and has been observing elections since then, with the 2014 presidential elections being the last.

Registration for national and international civil society organisations to monitor upcoming parliamentary elections opened Monday and will close on 21 January.

Source: Ahram Online

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