PRESS RELEASE: Restrictions on Genuine Competition, Free Expression Undermine Egypt's House of Representatives Elections
Cairo, Egypt - Democracy International (DI) today released a preliminary statement on Egypt’s 2015 House of Representatives elections. In its statement, DI highlights concerns about the election process, including a lack of genuine competition and robust debate, widespread apathy reflected in low voter turnout, and a flawed electoral system that failed to ensure a broadly representative body. In addition, the process suffered from a lack of transparency, including obstacles for domestic and international observers.
“Restrictions on freedom of expression and political participation have made a fully democratic electoral process in Egypt impossible,” said DI President Eric Bjornlund. “The result is a parliament that does not seem to fully represent the views of all Egyptians.”
Added DI Executive Director Thomas O. Melia, “The orderliness of these elections should not be misinterpreted: the larger story is about the parties and candidates who were not allowed to participate; the voters who stayed away; and the independent observers, domestic and international alike, who could not observe. This adds up to a process that falls well short of democratic standards.”
Democracy International fielded a specialized technical mission during the first stage of the parliamentary elections in October and deployed more than 20 accredited international observers from six countries for both rounds of the second stage of the elections in November and early December. DI established an election observation mission in Egypt in in December 2013, deployed the largest international mission to observe the constitutional referendum in January 2014, and carried out a comprehensive mission to observe the presidential election process in May 2014.
View the preliminary statement here.
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Democracy International (DI) provides analytical services, technical assistance, and project implementation for democracy and governance and other international development programs worldwide. Since its founding in 2003, DI has worked in 70 countries and has conducted election observation missions and election-assistance programs in Afghanistan, Albania, Bangladesh, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ghana, Kenya, Indonesia, Liberia, Pakistan, South Africa, Sudan and South Sudan. Democracy International is a signatory to the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation and the Code of Conduct for International Election Observers.