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Carter praises Egyptian vote, cites some problems

Former US President Jimmy Carter said Egyptians "should be proud" of the first phase of the parliamentary elections that began this week but said there were areas for improvement for the remaining two stages of the vote.

December 3, 2011 7:32 by

His Carter Center visited more than 300 polling stations in all nine of the Egyptian governorates where voting got under way this week in the first free parliamentary election since army officers overthrew the monarchy in 1952.

“Carter Center witnesses in Egypt reported enthusiastic participation in the election and a largely peaceful process, for which the Egyptian people should be proud,” Carter said in a statement released on Friday.

“However, the process is far from complete, and there are several areas for improvement before the next two rounds of voting. We hope that steps can be taken to help ensure the integrity and transparency of these elections,” he said.

The elections are the first since President Hosni Mubarak was overthrown in February by a popular uprising.

The Carter Center statement listed observations including the fact that campaigning had continued during the voting, contrary to regulations.

It also said there had been “considerable disorganisation and confusion stemming from inadequate preparation and instructions to the judges and workers on how to efficiently count the ballots and report the results to the supervising sorting committee”.

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