More Links in News & Events

Carter Center Preliminary Statement on the First Round of Voting in Egypt's People's Assembly Elections

Read the full preliminary statement (PDF):

In English

CONTACTS: Atlanta, Deborah Hakes +1 404 420 5124; Cairo, Sanne van den Bergh +20 1013511710

The Carter Center deployed witnesses to observe two days of polling on Nov. 28-29 in the first of three rounds of Egypt's parliamentary elections, as well as the preceding election preparation period. Carter Center witnesses visited more than 300 polling stations in all nine active governorates, and followed the process through to the counting exercise. 
"Carter Center witnesses in Egypt reported enthusiastic participation in the election and a largely peaceful process, for which the Egyptian people should be proud," former U.S. President Jimmy Carter said.  "However, the process is far from complete, and there are several areas for improvement before the next two rounds of voting.  We hope that steps can be taken to help ensure the integrity and transparency of these elections."
Despite long lines, late poll openings, and other indicators of under-preparation evident in some polling stations and counting centers, Carter Center witnesses reported that Egyptian citizens displayed optimism and participated in large numbers.  Candidates, parties and their representatives, and election officials also appeared eager to participate and to demonstrate their commitment to a democratic transition. Egypt's voters and other political stakeholders in general warmly received Carter Center witnesses, a sentiment that was deeply appreciated.  
The Carter Center notes the deep skepticism of activists in Tahrir and in other parts of the country about the value of these elections, however, and so urges Egyptian authorities to ensure that the parliamentary elections will result in a more transparent, inclusive and participatory transition process, and a parliament with genuine authority to select the Constitutional Assembly.   
At this time, The Carter Center cannot offer a comprehensive assessment of the electoral process.  There remain two further rounds of voting, run-off elections and the resolution of any complaints. In the interim, the Center offers the following preliminary observations and suggestions for the next rounds of voting.  
These observations include:

  • Campaigning prior to the election was vigorous and enthusiastic.  However, campaigning continued through the election days in contravention of the Supreme Judicial Commission for Elections' (SJCE) regulations on campaigning.  The Center suggests that the SJCE provide clear instruction to the parties on what constitutes improper campaigning.
  • Despite reports of some isolated incidents of violence, the Carter Center witnesses found the voting environment to be generally peaceful, and that security personnel, while present did not interfere in the process.
  • The process thus far has suffered from a lack of clear and well communicated information about election day processes and procedures.  The Carter Center hopes that clear information about the process will be disseminated widely and in sufficient time to guarantee that voters and other stakeholders have the opportunity to understand and adapt to it.
  • In general, Center witnesses reported considerable disorganization and confusion stemming from inadequate preparation and instructions to the judges and workers on how to efficiently count the ballots and report the results to the supervising sorting committee. It is recommended that the SJCE publicize clear vote count procedures, as well as regulations on the access of candidates, parties and their agents to the counting centers, and that they enforce these rules fairly.
  • While Carter Center witnesses received accreditation, there were isolated incidents in which access to polling stations and counting centers was denied or limited.  For the next two future rounds of elections it is important to ensure that accredited domestic and international witnesses have access to polling stations and counting facilities without obstruction.
  • Any complaints regarding the Nov. 28-29 election days are yet to be heard. The Center reiterates the importance of providing information on the complaints process to voters and candidates.

The full preliminary statement may be found at



"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.

Carter Center Statement on Egypt's 
Pre-election Environment

Donate Now

Sign Up For Email

Please sign up below for important news about the work of The Carter Center and special event invitations.

Please leave this field empty
Now, we invite you to Get Involved
Back To Top