US envoy goes undercover to monitor Egypt elections

US envoy goes undercover to monitor Egypt elections

CAIRO — The US ambassador in Egypt disguised himself and visited a number of polling stations in central Cairo and Giza to have first-hand information about the voting atmosphere and environment, reports said yesterday. A team from the US Embassy was also going round covering most of the polling stations in the garden city and the Zamalek areas, while another team left for a number of polling stations in the Bab Al Sheriya and Al Waili areas.

Sources said the US Embassy was watching very closely how the Egyptian government was dealing with the recently passed court verdicts which called for re-election in three constituencies, Al Waili, Bolak Al Dakrour and Munshaat Nasir constituencies. The Egyptian government is highly embarrassed by the court verdict which came at a time when dozens of foreign observers were in Cairo to monitor the elections.

The sources said a strong disagreement broke out between Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Kamal Al Shazli and leading figures from the Policies Committee Secretariat on the court verdicts. While Al Shazli was insisting that the government shun the implementation of the court order as it used to do in the past, some close friends of Jamal Mubarak saw that it would be wiser to implement the order this time in an attempt to appear in a democratic cloak.

Meanwhile, the Secretariat of the Policies Committee has witnessed recently a fierce dispute behind the scene due to the strong objection of some leading figures in the US administration to the way the parliamentary elections were conducted in Egypt.

Sources close to the decision-makers at the secretariat said feelings of anxiety and concern firmly gripped Jamal Mubarak, son of the Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, due to the massive criticism from senior US officials about the way the elections were conducted.

Those who flayed Egypt’s elections included some members of the US Congress and Senate, as well as US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, who expressed reservations about Egypt’s stand on political reforms by unleashing in Bahrain a barrage of criticism on Egyptian foreign Minister, Ahmed Abul Ghait.