Condoleezza Rice: Egyptian Presidential Election
Egyptian Presidential Election
Secretary Condoleezza Rice
September 10, 2005
Egypt's presidential election represents one step in the march towards the full democracy that the Egyptian people desire and deserve. The process that culminated in the September 7 vote was characterized by freer debate, increased transparency, and improved access to the media, in contrast with previous polls. The practice of universal suffrage in Egypt, without limitations on gender and ethnicity, is a hopeful sign for the region. Despite some reports of scattered violence, the Egyptian security forces generally maintained calm.
As Egypt looks towards parliamentary elections in November, we encourage Egyptians to build on progress made with this election and to address valid criticisms of the electoral process. In particular, more needs to be done to increase the voice of the people and their confidence in the democratic process. The presence of international monitors both domestic and international with full and timely access to polling stations, would introduce greater transparency and credibility for future elections. All candidates should also be afforded equal access to the media to convey their messages to the Egyptian people. The Government of Egypt should also codify and implement internationally accepted electoral practices, ensure freedom of expression, and protect against intimidation and violence.
President Mubarak now has an opportunity to follow through on several key campaign promises, including a pledge to lift the emergency law. The United States fully supports the democratic aspirations of the Egyptian people as they move towards a more representative democracy. We will stand with Egypt as it makes this journey.