US State Department Calls for Transparency in Elections
P.J. Crowley, the US state department’s spokesman and assistant secretary for the Bureau of Public Affairs, urged the Egyptian authorities to ensure that elections are held in a free and transparent atmosphere. He called on the government to allow international monitoring of the polls.
Crowley maintained that for elections to be described as free and transparent they would have to include peaceful political assemblies, unregulated activity by civil society organizations, an open and balanced media environment and the free promotion of voter education and participation.
With crackdowns on the country’s largest and most popular opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, and attacks on media covering the election campaign along with the lack of transparency pervasive in Egypt, the international community has begun to voice its concerns over the integrity of the vote to be held later this month. The government in Cairo is fearful of the Brotherhood taking over parliament and has arrested dozens of members, including candidates, in recent weeks. At the same time, media coverage of campaigns has been greatly restricted, leaving many analysts, experts and foreign officials worried about the future of Egypt.
The Egyptian government, however, has refused to allow international monitors to observe the parliamentary elections on November 28 arguing that it is interfering in the nation’s sovereignty.