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Carter Center Preliminary Statement on the First Round of Voting in Egypt's Shura Council Elections

CONTACT: In Atlanta, Deborah Hakes 1 404 420 5124; In Cairo, Sanne van den Bergh +20 1060379961

Read full statement:


In English (PDF)

Carter Center witnesses in Egypt observed low levels of interest and participation among voters, political parties, and nongovernmental organizations during the first stage of the country's Shura Council elections. Despite the brief respite between the People's Assembly and Shura Council elections, Egypt's election authority was able to introduce several technical amendments for the Shura election including the use of more secure ballot boxes and the counting of votes at polling stations. While improving operational electoral processes, these changes also introduce new challenges for the training of election officials and to ensure the transparency of the process.

The schedule for the Shura elections, occurring only nine days after the final rerun race of the People's Assembly, and mere days after the anniversary of the Revolution, contributed to an unenthused electoral process. In addition, the continuation of key parts of the Emergency Law, criticism of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces' (SCAF) leadership of the transition, and uncertainty over investigations into civil society organizations have negatively influenced the overall election environment. The Carter Center notes that the environment in which elections are conducted has an important effect on the credibility of the process. To successfully complete Egypt's democratic transition, it is critical to resolve key points of contention about the transition expeditiously, transparently, and fairly. As part of these efforts, the Center urges authorities to lift the Emergency Law in its entirety.

The first stage of the two-phase election of the Shura Council was conducted across 13 of Egypt's governorates on Jan. 29-30, 2012. Carter Center witnesses were present across 11 governorates and will remain in place to witness runoff and rerun races. This election process is ongoing and therefore the findings of The Carter Center are preliminary. Additional statements regarding the process will be released as it unfolds. The Carter Center's full preliminary statement may be found at

The Carter Center has been present in Egypt since November 2011 and also witnessed all three phases of the People's Assembly elections.


"Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope."
A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 70 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; improving mental health care; and teaching farmers in developing nations to increase crop production. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.

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