Egypt’s military rulers ban foreign election observers

Egypt’s ruling military council said foreigners won’t be allowed to monitor Egyptian elections, scheduled for November. That has some local activists worried about the credibility of the vote.

Egyptian rights activists are raising strong concerns after the country’s military rulers banned international observers for the first elections of the post-Mubarak era.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, the military junta that took over after President Hosni Mubarak was pushed out, said Wednesday that elections will be delayed to November, two months later than originally expected. International monitors will not be permitted on the grounds of national sovereignty, said Maj. Gen. Mamdouh Shahin, the military council’s legislative adviser.

“This is a very terrible development,” says Bahey El Din Hassan, director of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies. “It was usual to hear this from the Mubarak regime because the elections were always fraudulent.”

But for the military to take the same position, citing the same excuse the Mubarak regime used, “raises serious questions about the credibility of the coming election,” he says.

A fair vote is vital to establishing both domestic and international trust in Egypt’s new government, and international monitors would be a natural way to ensure one, says Mr. Has… >>>

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