National Election Authority logo- Egypt Today- Photo By Hussein Tallal National Election Authority logo- Egypt Today- Photo By Hussein Tallal

NEA approves 48 NGOs to observe 2018 presidential election

Sat, Jan. 27, 2018
CAIRO – 27 January 2018: The National Election Authority (NEA), headed by Judge Lashen Ibrahim, approved 48 local and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to observe the 2018 presidential election, as they met the conditions set out by the NEA.

Forty local organizations and four international NGOs, adding to the National Human Rights Council and the National Council for Women, will be distributed among different governorates to observe the upcoming presidential election that will take place in March.

The NEA announced the 2018 presidential election timeline on January 8. Potential candidates are allowed to submit their applications between January 20 and 29. The final list of the candidates will be announced on February 24.

Voting will take place for three days starting March 26 domestically, while it will begin on March 16 for expats from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. in each country’s local time. The winning candidate will be announced on April 2.

The NEA will continue to receive candidacy papers from potential candidates until Monday.

In order to qualify for the election, candidates must receive endorsements from a minimum of 20 MPs, or 25,000 citizens from at least 15 governorates, with at least 1,000 endorsements from each governorate.

NEA announced earlier this month a declaration that includes instructions for civil societies to follow if approved to observe the election.

The full declaration is included below.

National Election Authority Decision No. 8 for 2018

Declaration of Principles and Dates for Egyptian, Foreign and International Civil Society Observers to observe the 2018 Egyptian Elections

Article (1)

Egyptian, foreign and international civil societies working in the fields of election observing, human rights, promotion of democracy as well as foreign election authorities and commissions are permitted to observe the 2018 Egyptian elections, as per the regulations stated in this Declaration, and upon obtaining a permit from the National Election Authority.

This permit shall not be considered a license or an authorization to undertake any other activities in Egypt. The permit expires when the electoral process ends.

Article (2)

“observing the electoral process” refers to all acts of observing and observation of all procedures pertaining to candidates’ registration, election campaigns, voting, counting votes and declaration of election results.

Observers shall not interfere in the electoral process in any way. They shall not obstruct it, attempt to influence voters’ opinions, campaign for candidates or give or receive any grants, gratuities, gifts, aid or benefits of any kind from any candidate or from his supporters.

Article (3)

The following conditions must be observed by Egyptian civil society organizations applying for a permit:

• To have a clean reputation, and be known for their impartiality and integrity;
• To have previous experience in observingelections;
• Observers affiliated with them must be registered voters in the Voters Database.

Interested organizations are to submit a request to the National Election Authority for them to be allowed to observe elections as per the specified dates in this declaration.

The following documents shall be attached to the request:

• Certified copies of organization registration documents;
• A recently-issued certificate from the competent ministry, stating that the organization is still registered and active, that it did not violate applicable laws and bylaws, and that it works in the fields of election observing, human rights and promotion of democracy;
• A concise summary about the organization, its legal status, work and previous experience in observing elections;
• A statement of the number of observers recommended by the organization and those desiring permits to observe elections in every governorate;
• Name of the organization’s representative before the National Election Authority.

The Authority may demand any other document deemed necessary.

Article (4)

The following conditions must be observed by foreign and international civil society organizations applying for a permit:

1. They shall have a good international reputation, and be known for their impartiality and integrity;
2. They must be working in the fields of observing elections, human rights and promotion of democracy;
3. They must have previous experience in observing elections;

Interested organizations shall submit a request to the National Election Authority, for them to be allowed to observe elections as per the specified dates in this declaration.

The following documents must be attached to the request:

1. A concise summary about the organization, its legal status, work and previous experience in observing elections;
2. List of countries where they observed elections during the three years preceding the voting day;
3. A statement of the number of observers recommended by the organization and wanting to issue permits to observe elections in every governorate;
4. Name of the organization’s representative before the National Election Authority.

The Authority may demand any other document deemed necessary.

Article (5)

Egyptian, foreign and international civil society organizations interested in observing presidential elections are to submit their requests from 09/01/2018 to 15/01/2018.

Article (6)

The National Election Authority shall regularly announce the names of organizations that fulfill the required conditions. They shall be provided with non-repeatable codes for the number of observers, who shall then use them to register on the Authority’s official website www.elections.eg. Observers shall register themselves on the date specified in this declaration.

The Authority shall review the observers’ forms submitted to the website, and may reject incomplete forms.

Article (7)

Observers are to register from 15/01/2018 to 19/01/2018. The Authority shall then issue permits to those accepted, and they shall be handed to the organization’s representative.

Article (8)

The Authority shall issue IDs to those observers with complete forms. The organization’s representative (or whoever they delegate) shall receive these IDs from the Authority’s headquarters. Observers themselves shall not visit the Authority’s headquarters for that purpose.

Article (9)

Observers shall gain access to Voting Committees, Vote Counting Committees, and General Committees by showing the IDs issued by the Authority.

Observers are not to remain in any committee room for more than thirty minutes. Heads of Sub-Committees and General Committees may, when necessary, shorten this period, and restrict the number of observers of committees in order not to interrupt their work.

In all cases, the instructions of Heads of Sub-Committees and General Committees are to be followed in this regard.

Article (10)

Organizations allowed to observe elections shall abide by all applicable laws, bylaws and decisions pertaining to the electoral process. They shall observe elections as per the principles and guidelines stipulated by the National Election Committee, and they shall heed accuracy, impartiality, and objectivity. They shall not use their work to acquire any political or partisan gains.

Article (11)

Authorized organizations shall promptly notify the National Election Authority about any observations they deem necessary for it to note.

The Authority shall investigate these observations, verify them and take the necessary procedures regarding them.

Organizations are not permitted to declare any election results or indicators before they are officially declared by the National Election Authority.

Article (12)

After the electoral process ends, authorized organizations shall submit a report to the Authority, stating their observations.

This report must be impartial, cite verifiable incidents, and provide a technical assessment of positive and negative aspects that their observation noted. The report shall objectively refer to official statements made by the National Election Authority in response to the organization’s observations.

Article (13)

The Authority may invite foreign heads or members of authorities or commissions specialized in elections, as well as heads of embassies or international and regional associations deemed fit to observe elections.

Article (14)

Without prejudice to penalties stated in Law No. 45 for 2014 on regulating the exercise of political rights, the Authority may revoke permits issued to any elections observer if they violate the regulations stipulated in this declaration. Permits issued to organizations may also be revoked, if they are responsible for said violation.

Article (15)

This declaration shall be published in the Official Gazette, and competent authorities shall implement it.


Additional reporting by Noha el-Tawil
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