Jimmy Carter arrives in Cairo ahead of vote

May 21, 2012 at 11:08 AM
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CAIRO, May 21 (UPI) -- An election committee announced former U.S. President Jimmy Carter arrived in Cairo as part of a delegation monitoring Egypt's presidential election.

Carter was joined by U.S. Rep. David Dreier, R-Calif., fellow members of Congress and delegates from the African Union as part of a mission to observe presidential elections in Egypt, set for two days beginning Wednesday.

The Supreme Presidential Elections Commission announced the delegates were greeted at the Cairo airport. Carter, reports Egyptian news service al-Ahram, is expected to meet with key political leaders ahead of the Wednesday vote.

The Carter Center, a monitoring group with headquarters in Atlanta, announced last week that it sent 22 election witnesses to observe the presidential election.

There are 13 candidates running for president in Egypt. Ruling military authorities promised to hand power over to civilians by the summer.

Carter, who helped broker a 1970s peace deal between Israel and Egypt, told The New York Times following a January visit to Cairo that military leaders in Egypt envisioned a "harmonious agreement" with the country's eventual civilian leaders. They'd likely try to keep some level of control over the country, he added.

Campaigning in Egypt officially ended Sunday.

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