Egyptian Minister of State for Legal Affairs and Parliamentary Councils Mufeed Shehab said on Friday that Cairo vehemently dismissed recent calls by US officials for Egypt to allow international monitors to supervise the upcoming parliamentary elections salted for 28 November.
“Countries that have full sovereignty, like Egypt, do not allow international supervision of elections,” said Shehab, who is also a leading member in the ruling National Democratic Party.
Shehab added that international monitoring of elections would constitute a violation of Egypt’s sovereignty and is therefore rejected.
Asked if the US Congress may impose international monitoring on Egypt’s elections, Shehab said that “neither the Congress, nor the US President or any parliament in the world can possibly force Egypt to accept international supervision of its elections”.
Shehab added that rejecting international monitors should not be seen as reflecting an intention on the part of the regime to rig the elections.
“It only means that Egyptians themselves could guarantee a free and fair election,” he said.
On Thursday, Egypt’s Foreign Ministry said that it was dismayed by Washington’s call for foreign monitors to observe the country’s parliamentary elections, describing it as meddling in its internal affairs.
In Washington, the State Department spokesman, Philip J. Crowley, told reporters that the election would be watched very closely to ensure that it met Egypt’s requirements and international standards.
“We have encouraged Egypt to make sure that there are adequate domestic observers and international observers for this upcoming election,” he said.
Crowley continued: “This is not interfering in Egyptian affairs. This is encouraging a very close friend of the United States that its elections are vitally important and that its people want to see and have opportunities for greater participation in Egypt’s political system and have a government that is more representative of all segments of Egyptian society.”