July 21, 2011

Statement By Senators Kerry and McCain On Egypt’s Upcoming Elections

Washington D.C. – Senator John Kerry (D-MA), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today released the following statement regarding Egypt’s upcoming elections:

"We are disappointed that Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces has decided to prohibit international monitors from observing the country’s upcoming elections. These elections are an essential step in Egypt’s transition to the genuine democracy that the Egyptian people have sacrificed so much to achieve.  It is clearly in the interest of the Egyptian people that these elections be free, fair, and undeniably credible.  Excluding international monitors does not move Egypt closer to that goal.  We are pleased that Egyptian election observers have been granted the right to operate, and we urge Egypt’s authorities to enable all of them to work freely and without obstruction. However, while domestic election observers have a crucial role to play, it is a role which experience in many countries shows is most effectively performed in coordination with international monitors.                

International election observers are not a threat to any country’s sovereignty. In fact, they help to protect the integrity of the democratic process and increase the confidence of international investors who can create the jobs which the Egyptian people strongly desire and need. The exclusion of international monitors could make it more difficult to resolve any disputes or irregularities arising from the elections, which could slow Egypt’s political transition to the detriment of Egypt’s people, its economy, and its armed forces.  For all of these reasons, we urge the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to reevaluate its decision as soon as possible so that international monitors can begin to observe Egypt’s electoral process."

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