24 May 2012

Egypt: Carter Praises Transparency of Presidential Election

Photo: D. Hakes/ The Carter Center
Former U.S. President Carter watches as poll workers check a voter's ID.

Former United States President Jimmy Carter praised Egypt's presidential election, particularly the high participation, considering it a model for the world to follow.

Carter said, "The Carter Centre to monitor elections - which he heads - has monitored more than 90 elections worldwide, but the most important was Egypt's presidential election, which was blessed with transparency, an eagerness to participate, integrity and an overwhelming turnout", the Middle East News Agency reported.

Carter's statement came during his meeting with Azhar Grand Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb in his office.

The former US President pressed on the importance of empowering Egyptian women by granting them their complete legitimate rights.

Carter visited some polling stations in Sayeda Zaeinb and Zayeda Aasha on Wednesday, on the first day of polling, to check up on the electoral process. He arrived to Cairo a few days ago to observe what is considered Egypt's first real presidential election.

Egyptians started voting on Wednesday, May 23, in what is considered the country's first real presidential election. Today marks the second and last day of local polls while a runoff round may take place in mid-June if necessary.

Polling stations will close at 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 24. All voters must have their identification cards in order to vote.

The 13 candidates contesting in the first round are: Abul Ezz Al-Hariri (Pyramid), Ahmed Shafiq (Ladder), Hamdeen Sabahi (Eagle), Hossam Khairallah (Camera), Khaled Ali (Tree), Abdullah Alashaal (Axe), Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh (Horse), Amr Moussa (Sun), Mohamed Selim Al-Awa (Umbrella), Mohamed Fawzi Eissa (Camera), Mohamed Mursi (Scale), Mahmoud Hossam (Star) and Hisham Bastawisi (Watch).

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