CAIRO, May 17 (UPI) -- Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, head of the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces in Egypt, pledged next week's presidential elections would be fair.
"We promise to hold excellent elections," he was quoted by Egyptian news service al-Ahram as saying. "With the assistance of the civil police and the Egyptian judiciary, this month's presidential poll will be even better than recent parliamentary and Shura council elections."
SCAF has been criticized for its role in post-revolutionary political affairs in Egypt. It took control over the country after long-time President Hosni Mubarak was forced to step down after a popular uprising in early 2011. SCAF had pledged to transfer power over to civilians last year.
The Carter Center, a monitoring group with headquarters in Atlanta, announced Monday it was sending 22 election witnesses to observe the presidential election.
"Due to the late accreditation of witnesses for this historic election, as well as a lack of clarity on witnessing organizations' ability to speak publicly, this election witnessing mission is, unfortunately, limited in scope," it said in a statement.
There are 13 candidates competing in an election that takes place over two days starting Wednesday. Authority would be handed over to a civilian government by mid June.