Mancham says Egypt’s presidential election ‘fair and transparent’


29-May-2012

Observers at Egypt’s May 22-23 presidential election: (from l to r) former Mauritian President Cassam Uteem, former US President Jimmy Carter, former Seychelles President James Mancham and John Hardman of the Carter Centre

Mr Mancham was asked to go to Egypt to represent the AU following an invitation which the AU had received from the Egyptian authorities who had declined the organisation’s offer of sending over 20 delegates to observe the election because of logistical considerations.

Mr Mancham was accompanied on his mission by Shumbana Karume, head of democracy and elections assistance, and Conrad Mederic, principal counsellor at the Seychelles high commission in Pretoria.

According to a statement from Mr Mancham’s office, the former president was able to meet most of the vital players in this election process including the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Egypt, Mr Mohammed Kamel Amr; the director of the National Council for Human Rights, Dr Mohammed Fayeek; the director of Al Arham Centre for Political and Strategic studies, Dr Amani Altaweel; and the President of the Presidential Elections Committee.

The former president also had an extensive meeting with former US President Jimmy Carter of the Carter Centre, who had over 80 delegates in Egypt to observe the election as well as with the chairman of the Electoral Institute of Sustainable Democracy, former President of Mauritius Cassam Uteem.

According to Mr Mancham, the observers he met and himself shared more or less the same sentiments concerning the election they had witnessed.

“While several suggestions can be made for improvement for future election, in considering the characteristics of elections as they are held in matured democracies, the presidential election in Egypt was conducted in a fair and transparent way and should be recognised as so,” he said.

It is to be recalled that in the presidential election, Mohamed Morsi, chairman of the Freedom and Justice Party, and Ahmed Shafik, a former Prime Minister of Egypt, received the most votes and will contest a run-off election on June 16-17.

It was the second presidential election in Egypt's history with more than one candidate, following the 2005 election, and the first presidential election after the 2011 Egyptian revolution during the Arab Spring.

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