9.14.2005

Bush Congratulates Egyptian President, People on Election

Secretary Rice urges President Mubarak to follow through on campaign pledges

President Bush offered his congratulations to the Egyptian people and government for that nation’s first multicandidate presidential elections held on September 7.

In a statement from Scott McClellan, presidential press secretary, the White House said September 10 that the election "represents an important step toward holding fully free and fair competitive multiparty elections."

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in a separate statement released September 10, said the September 7 vote "was characterized by freer debate, increased transparency and improved access to the media, in contrast with previous polls."

Rice also said the practice of universal suffrage in the election, without limitations on gender and ethnicity, "is a hopeful sign for the region."

The statements by both the secretary and the White House urged the Egyptian government to build on the progress made in the September 7 voting as it moves toward parliamentary elections in November.

The White House statement said the United States expects the September 7 election "will be part of a process of continuing political reforms and that the flaws that were visible in this election will be corrected for November’s parliamentary elections."

The secretary of state said that "more needs to be done to increase the voice of the people and their confidence in the democratic process." For the November elections, Rice called for international monitors who have full and timely access to polling stations, equal access by all candidates to the media, codification and implementation of internationally accepted electoral practices, as well as actions to ensure freedom of expression and protect against violence and intimidation.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak received nearly 89 percent of the vote in the election. The president called Mubarak on September 10 to congratulate him and to say he looks forward to continuing to work with him, according to the White House statement.

Following are the texts of the statements released by the White House and the State Department:

(begin text)

THE WHITE HOUSEOffice of the Press SecretaryFor Immediate ReleaseSeptember 10, 2005

STATEMENT BY THE PRESS SECRETARY

Egyptian Presidential Elections

The United States congratulates the Egyptian people and government for holding Egypt's first multi-candidate Presidential elections on September 7. This election represents an important step toward holding fully free and fair competitive multi-party elections, and both supporters and opponents of the government have told us that it has occasioned a vigorous national debate in Egypt on important issues. We expect it will be part of a process of continuing political reforms and that the flaws that were visible in this election will be corrected for November's parliamentary election.

The President called President Mubarak this morning to congratulate him on his victory, and say he looks forward to continuing to work with him in the coming years.

(end text)

(begin text)

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
For Immediate Release
September 10, 2005 2005/853
Statement by the Secretary

Egyptian Presidential Election

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.

(end text)

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home