Geneva, 16 June 2014 –At a side event at the 26th session of the UN Human Rights Council at UNOG, the International Institute for Peace, Justice and Human Rights (IIPJHR) and its partner the Global Network for Rights and Development (GNRD) have released more detailed findings of their joint observation mission to the Presidential Elections in Egypt.    

Mrs. Dalia Youssef, the Vice-President of the Risk Free Management Company and member of the think-tank the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs, outlined that the main challenge of Egypt is now to move forward in a spirit of reconciliation.

Ms. Evgenia Kondrakhina, GNRD's Chief Executive Manager, presented the general comments, recommendations and statistics of the joint mission including GNRD, IIPJHR and their local partner Egyptian NGO Maat Foundation for Peace, Development and Human Rights (MAAT). She stated that the procedure of the elections in the observed polling stations had been conducted smoothly with only minor inaccuracies to be addressed for future votes. Recommendations included restricting campaign activities and materials at polling stations in line with electoral rules, ensuring the complete secrecy of the polling booths in all locations and strengthening voter education, particularly among illiterate voters.

Ms. Kondrakhina said the observers witnessed high voter turnout on the first day of the election, with lower levels on the second and third days. Observers noticed strong participation among women and the elderly, with young people appearing less enthusiastic.

More than 2,600 observers from the GNRD, IIPJHR and MAAT observed around 75% of polling stations in 25 governorates of Egypt.

Mr. Jean-François Fechino, the director of the IIPJHR, shared that he and his team were proud to have participated in the observation of the elections. He gave an enlightening explanation on the rights and objectives of the observers and expressed his hope that the joint mission had contributed to Egypt’s quest for freedom and democracy.

Dr. Ahmed Abdel Halim, a member of the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the National Security Committee at the NGO People and Police for Egypt, said the constitution had established a consensus among the Egyptian people. He elaborated that it protects minorities, including religious ones such as the Christian Copts and that it ensures women’s rights. He also highlighted the contribution of the country’s security personnel in ensuring that the electoral process had played out without major incident.

To see the final report of the observation mission on the presidential elections go here