US ambassador to Egypt reiterates calls for fair elections

The US ambassador to Egypt Margret Scobey, speaking to MENA on Monday, reiterated American interest in transparent Egyptian parliamentary elections, which are scheduled for 28 November.

Scobey echoed previous calls for the implementation of credible and impartial mechanisms to review poll-related complaints. She also stressed the importance of local election oversight based on international standards, accompanied by international monitors.

The ambassador lauded Egypt’s commitment to expand the scope of political participation and endorsed local oversight.

The Director of Egyptian affairs at the US State Department’s Near East office, Nicole Chapman, told Al-Masry Al-Youm the US is continuing its efforts to persuade Egypt to welcome international observation. She said such a move would give Egypt the image of a “democratic state” with a fair electoral process.

The American request, however, was dismissed on Monday by Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif, who contended that Egypt is able to independently and transparently manage the polling.

Egypt’s political opposition insists the poll lacks minimum tranparency standards.

Analysts believe the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) is trying to secure a parliamentary sweep in preparation for the 2011 presidential elections, in which incumbent President Hosni Mubarak, is widely expected to vie for a sixth consecutive term.

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