S&D Group president urges Egyptian president Morsi to accept election observers

Hannes Swoboda, president of the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament, met with Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi in Cairo this weekend, urging him to ensure the parliamentary elections in late February will be free, fair and verified by international election observers.

Hannes Swoboda described the meeting as fruitful: „The upcoming parliamentary elections were the main subject of our discussion. I pressed President Morsi to accept international and European election observers and am happy to report that he has announced his support for this suggestion.

„The S&D Group in the European Parliament have added their voice to the criticism of the irregular procedures surrounding the new Egyptian constitution and some of the articles it contains. But the priority now is to ensure free and fair elections which will give the critics of the constitution a chance to present their case. A strong vote for the social democrats in the framework of the ‚Salvation alliance‘ will guarantee a strong voice in the new parliament against a rigid and conservative interpretation of the new constitution.“

He continued by commenting on future EU-Egypt co-operation:

„Europe and Egypt are close neighbours and share responsibility for the Mediterranean region. Our Europe is one which fights for mutual respect and support, and for democratic development. The social democrats on both sides of the Mediterranean Sea will work closely together to promote peace, stability, religious tolerance and social justice. We reject any kind of extremism.“