Egypt: Elections

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 17th October 2011.

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Photo of Kwasi Kwarteng Kwasi Kwarteng Conservative, Spelthorne

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he plans to take to help ensure that the outcome of the proposed November 2011 elections in Egypt is implemented in a stable and orderly manner.

Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

The Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), have urged the Egyptian authorities to deliver an open and plural election process, and encouraged them to ensure full transparency and consultation during the transition process.

The Government have made it clear that we stand ready to support Egypt during this challenging time to ensure that the aspirations of the Egyptian people are met. Under the UK's Arab Partnership we have allocated over £1 million to Egypt to help put in place the building blocks of democracy. This includes projects with the Egyptian as well as likeminded governments to co-ordinate practical assistance to the electoral process. The UK hosted Egyptian Interior Ministry officials during the UK local elections and referendum in May, providing technical advice on electoral management including ensuring access to polling stations and the integrity of the vote. We are also working with non-governmental partners to support inclusive political dialogue and to strengthen the capacity of nascent political parties in areas including policy-making and parliamentary procedure to help facilitate a smooth transition.

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs has also encouraged the Government of Egypt to consider international observation of forthcoming elections. We welcome recent indications that the Egyptian authorities will permit an international presence during parliamentary elections, and encourage them to finalise arrangements for this as soon as possible.

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