World Bulletin / News Desk
Egypt has denied reports that the African Union (A.U.) had decided not to monitor upcoming Egyptian presidential polls slated for May 26-27.
"The A.U. has not taken such a decision," Foreign Ministry spokesman Badr Abdel-Ati said in a Tuesday statement.
In a confidential memo circulated among members of the A.U.'s Peace and Security Council, Council Chairman Bulus Paul Lolo called on A.U. officials to shun Egypt's upcoming polls in light of the fact that former army chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi would be contesting the presidency.
Al-Sisi is widely seen as the driving force behind last summer's ouster – and subsequent imprisonment – of elected president Mohamed Morsi.
In his non-binding recommendation, Lolo said al-Sisi's presidential bid contravened the A.U.'s charter, given that the former army chief had – while serving as defense minister – led a "coup" against a democratically elected leader.
The recommendation comes only days before an A.U. hearing to review a report on a recent visit to Cairo by the A.U.'s High-Level Panel for Egypt.
Abdel-Ati said that an April 16 meeting of the A.U.'s Peace and Security Council had discussed Egypt's upcoming presidential poll, adding that the meeting had reflected A.U. members' rejection of Lolo's recommendation.
"Egypt's upcoming presidential election will be held in line with the will of the Egyptian people," the spokesman said, adding that the polls would be held under a judicial supervision, with local, regional and international NGOs also following the vote.
Egypt's A.U. membership was suspended two days after the army ousted Morsi last July – a measure taken by the pan-African body automatically in the event of an unconstitutional change of government in a member state.
Egypt completed the first phase of an army-imposed transitional roadmap in January by holding a referendum on an amended version of the constitution.
Egyptians will elect a new president on May 26-27 in the second phase of the roadmap, which should be completed later this year with the holding of parliamentary polls.
Egypt's interim government has invited several international and regional bodies to send observers to monitor next month's vote, which it has vowed to conduct fairly and transparently.Last Mod: 23 Nisan 2014, 09:40