The United States closely followed the first round of parliamentary elections held yesterday in Egypt. Egypt’s elections, this year and next, represent an important opportunity for progress. Egyptians will only have full confidence in their elections when the government is able to address existing flaws, and ensure full and transparent access by independent civil society monitors and candidate representatives to all phases of the electoral process.
Reports from domestic civil society monitors, candidate representatives, and government officials on the conduct of yesterday’s elections give us cause for concern. We are disappointed by reports in the pre-election period of disruption of campaign activities of opposition candidates and arrests of their supporters, as well as denial of access to the media for some opposition voices. We are also dismayed by reports of election-day interference and intimidation by security forces. These irregularities call into question the fairness and transparency of the process. We continue to believe that allowing international observers to monitor and freely report on elections, a normal practice in the region and around the world, is very important in building public confidence in a fair and open election.
The United States has a longstanding partnership with the government and the people of Egypt, rooted in common interests and shared aspirations for the future. We look forward to continuing to work with the Egyptian government and with Egypt’s vibrant civil society to help them achieve their political, social, and economic aspirations.