Cairo says no to Madeleine Albright?

Oct. 4, 2010 at 1:55 PM
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CAIRO, Oct. 4 (UPI) -- Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak ignored demands by influential U.S. political leaders to monitor November elections, sources said.

Opposition groups in Egypt, including the Muslim Brotherhood, are considering a boycott of parliamentary elections scheduled for next month. Egyptian diplomat and opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei already called for a boycott to protest political restrictions in Cairo.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, chairwoman of the National Democratic Institute, an election watchdog, in an article in The Washington Post called on Mubarak to allow U.S. monitors to observe the election.

A diplomatic source told Egyptian daily newspaper al-Masry al-Youm that there was no formal response from the 82-year-old Egyptian president.

"The president will not respond to requests like this, because the judicial authorities supervising the elections are the ones responsible for determining the parameters of foreign oversight," the source added.

The Egyptian newspaper adds that it is customary for Cairo to refuse international observers for national elections.

ElBaradei and his opposition supporters are calling for more transparency in the election process in Egypt. He is rumored to be considering a 2011 challenge to Mubarak, who hasn't made his intentions known publicly.

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