CAIRO: Political dissident and head of Al-Ghad Party Ayman Nour called on the European Union (EU) to oversee parliamentary and presidential elections, requesting that the European Commission “play a greater role” in supporting human rights in Egypt.
Nour visited the European Commission headquarters in Brussels during a recent tour of a number of European countries.
Nour was invited to meet with Tomas Dupla del Moral, director of the Middle East, South Mediterranean, of the External Relations at the European Commission — a meeting that was organized by the European Commission for Human Rights, according to Nour.
Nour said in a press conference that the meeting addressed issues regarding human rights and democracy in Egypt, which included a discussion about the parliamentary and presidential elections. He also asked the European Commission to oversee Egypt’s upcoming elections during the meeting in Brussels.
“Del Moral told me during the meeting that the Egyptian government did not accept the request sent by the commission to oversee the parliamentary elections,” said Nour.
“He told me that the government’s stance is strange compared to other Arab countries, like Lebanon who contacted the commission to oversee elections and Jordan who allowed the commission’s monitors to closely [but not completely] oversee elections,” Nour added.
Nour indicated that del Moral demonstrated the commission’s concern over improving democracy and human rights in Egypt, especially through overseeing elections that would guarantee transparency of the Egyptian democratic process.
Nour further stressed the importance of Europe’s stance on human rights issues in the Middle Eastern region — especially in Egypt. He said that Egypt witnessed a decline in democracy after various changes to the Egyptian Constitution were implemented in 2007.
“I explained during our meeting the reasons why [the National Association for Change, Al-Ghad Party, Democratic Front Party, and other political actors are] boycotting the elections,” said Nour. “Me, Dr. ElBaradei, and Hamadeen Sabbahy are facing constitutional and legal obstacles [to prevent us from running against] Mubarak senior and junior during presidential elections.”