Former UN chief: International elections monitoring will not harm Egypt’s sovereignty

Boutros Boutros Ghali, president of the National Council for Human Rights, said that international monitoring of the presidential elections in Egypt will not harm Egypt's sovereignty.

Ghali told MENA that the National Council for Human Rights has called for international monitors in its reports on similar occasions.

Ghali, who served as United Nations secretary general from 1992 to 1996, said international monitoring of elections does not affect a state's sovereignty in light of the globalized world in which people now live. He pointed out that the United Nations has established a department dedicated to monitoring elections in many countries and Egyptians work in that department.

During the recent parliamentary elections the Supreme Council of Armed Forces followed the Mubarak regime's practice of barring international monitors, arguing that they would infringe on the country’s sovereignty. 

"We have nothing to hide," Mamdouh Shaheen of the SCAF said at the time. "We reject anything that affects our sovereignty." Egyptian election monitors will observe the process instead, he said. 

But last month the Presidential Elections Commission, in an attempt to prove that it is a neutral body, opened the door to foreign election-monitoring institutions, human rights watchdogs and pro-democracy organizations to monitor the presidential election slated for 23 and 24 May.

Ghali explained that representatives of the press and foreign correspondents who already work in Egypt will also monitor the elections, which will mean the international community can be confident that transparent presidential elections are being conducted in Egypt.

Edited translation from MENA

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