Egypt says no to foreign monitors

Egypt says no to foreign monitors

 Egypt dismissed as interference, calls to allow foreign observers to monitor the country’s parliamentary elections later this month, an official said.

“Foreign monitoring is considered an interference in Egypt’s affairs. The National Democratic Party and legal opposition groups reject any such interference,” Sawfat al-Sharif, secretary-general of the country’s National Democratic Party said in an interview with the Egyptian Al-Ahram daily.

Sharif was responding to calls from the U.S. and other countries who asked to allow foreign observers to monitor the upcoming November 28 elections, the Middle East Online Web site said Thursday.

The Web site quoted Phillip Crowley, a U.S. State Department spokesman who said earlier this week Washington supports a free electoral process in Egypt..

Such a process “would include a credible and impartial mechanism for reviewing election-related complaints, a domestic election observation effort according to international standards and the presence of international observers,” the site quoted Crowley saying.

Meanwhile an unnamed spokesman of Egypt’s largest opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, said police arrested 600 of its members with 250 remaining in jail, the Web site said.