Euro-Mediterranean Rights Network: Europe must break silence on Egypt election fraud

The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Group demanded Friday that the European Union take a strong stance against election fraud in Egypt.

"Egypt has disrespected its association agreement with the EU, according to which respect of human rights and democratic principles is an essential element," wrote Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network Executive Director Marc Schade-Poulsen on the group's website.

"The pre-election period and election day were clearly marred by irregularities, violence and fraud in voting," said Schade-Poulsen.  "It is important that the EU breaks its silence and expresses strong disapproval of the way in which the Egyptian authorities handled the election processes. The credibility of the EU’s foreign policy is at stake."

The organization stated on its website that the EU has remained silent on the Egyptian elections, apart from statements by EU Parliament President Jerzy Buzek condemning the tense environment which has dominated elections and calling for greater press freedom and strengthening the rule of law.

The group's website listed several electoral violations observed by Egyptian and international human rights groups including: candidate representatives, voters and independent observers being denied access to polling stations, closing of polling stations, campaigning after the start of voting, candidates' supporters giving out bribes, electoral fraud and inaccurate voter lists.

The rights group's website read "according to the Lisbon Treaty 'The Union's action on the international scene shall be guided by the principles which have inspired its own creation which it seeks to advance in the wider world: democracy, the rule of law, the universality and indivisibility of human rights and fundamental freedoms.’"

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