WASHINGTON: The Atlanta-based Carter Center has the green light to send 22 observers to monitor Egypt’s presidential election next week, the U.S. State Department said late Thursday.
“The Carter Center has received accreditation as one of the organizations that will witness the election by Egypt’s Supreme Presidential Election Commission,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.
She said the 22 observers from 14 countries will “join in total an 80-person witness delegation covering 35 countries and they will be there for several days before the election and through the election,” Nuland said.
The Carter Center is a non-governmental organization founded by former U.S. President and Nobel laureate Jimmy Carter to advance human rights. It monitors elections worldwide, including several in Africa.
Polls indicate that Amr Moussa, a former foreign minister and Arab League chief, and Islamist candidate Abdel-Moneim Abol Fotouh are the leading contenders in the May 23-24 elections. Eleven other candidates are competing in the presidential election which should mark the end of a tumultuous military-led transitional period since President Hosni Mubarak’s overthrow in February 2011.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on May 19, 2012, on page 9.