Carter cites Egypt election 'irregularities'

Former US president serving as election monitor also says military appears to want political role.

    Former US president Jimmy Carter has said there were some "irregularities" in the recent parliamentary elections in Egypt.

    Carter, who heads the Carter Center election monitoring organisation, made the comments on Friday at a press conference in Cairo during an evaluation of the first vote since the fall of president Hosni Mubarak.

    While he said that 900 complaints had been made to the chief prosecutor, the will of the people had, overall, "been adequately and accurately expressed".

    He also said that training for election officials had been inadequate.

    With regards to the transfer of power to a civilian government, Carter said: "The military would like to transfer full control and authority to elected officials."

    He did note, however, that in his assessment the military wished to continue to have a political role.

    "When I met with military leaders, my impression was they want to have some special privilege in the government after the president is elected," Carter said, adding that he believed "the military should be completely subservient to the elected civilian officials".

    Treaty with Israel

    The former US president said that in conversations with members of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) and the Salafi al-Nur party, officials had told told him that they intended to honour their country's peace treaty with Israel.

    "All of the parties involved [in the election] have expressed eagerness to continue with the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt," Carter told reporters in Cairo.

    "All of the political parties and presidential candidates with whom I have met assured me that both aspects of the Camp David accords will be honoured in the future," he said. The FJP had earlier publicly pledged its commitment to the deal.

    "When I questioned the Salafists about this, they assured me they had no intention of rejecting the peace agreement," Carter said. He was referring to al-Nur, the party representing an ultra-conservative brand of Islam that has claimed second place in the landmark polls after the FJP.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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