World Bulletin / News Desk
European observers tasked with monitoring Egypt's looming presidential elections have begun heading to their assigned provinces, deputy chief of the E.U. Election Observation Mission to Egypt Nikolai Vulchanov said Friday.
Speaking at a press conference in Cairo, Vulchanov asserted that the E.U.'s 150 observers would not interfere with the vote – scheduled for May 26-27 – in any way.
E.U. observers will follow ballot-casting, vote-counting and charting in Egypt's 27 provinces, he added.
The mission's report on the electoral process will be presented to the Egyptian government by mission head Mario David, who will arrive in Cairo following the elections.
The mission's final report and recommendations, however, will be finalized within two months of the poll, Vulchanov said.
Earlier this week, the E.U. had said it would not be able to send a team to observe the election, but would only send a few experts to assess the process, attributing the decision to its failure to get the necessary communication and medical equipment into Egypt.
However, the mission from the E.U. said Monday that it was ready to deploy members to Egypt this week, having found a solution to its "problems with Egyptian authorities."
Former army chief Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi – who led the army to overthrow elected president Mohamed Morsi last July – and leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi – who came third in the 2012 polls won by Morsi – are the only two candidates running in the election.
Egypt completed the first phase of an army-imposed transitional roadmap in January by holding a referendum on an amended version of its 2012 constitution.
The presidential elections will constitute the second phase of the roadmap, which should be completed with parliamentary polls later this year.Last Mod: 23 Mayıs 2014, 16:35