UN hails Egypt’s pledge for transparent elections

Thursday, February 17, 2011

UNITED NATIONS - The UN has welcomed Egyptian army’s commitments to hold free and transparent elections as part of transition to democratic rule in the country.

“Turning now to Egypt in particular, I welcome the public commitments that have been made to the holding of free and transparent elections and enactment of measures to enable them all as part of the transition to democratic and civilian rule,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Thursday.

“Those commitments must be fulfilled, there must be no turning back,” Xinhua quoted the UN chief as saying.

Egypt saw a mass uprising which led to the end of president Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule. Bowing to 18 days of unrest across the country, Mubarak, who has been in power since 1981, resigned Feb 11 and handed over power to Vice President Omar Suleiman.

The Egyptian uprising also inspired copycat protests in Yemen, Iran, Libya and Bahrain.

Terming as “extraordinary developments” in some North African and Middle Eastern countries, Ban said: “I have been closely following the situation which is still unfolding.”

After the end of Mubarak’s regime, Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces announced Sunday it will suspend the constitution, dissolve parliament and form a panel to draft a new constitution for the country before submitting it to a popular referendum.

The Supreme Council Tuesday set a deadline of 10 days for the constitutional amendment committee to finish its task and vowed to hand over power within six months.

“The Higher Military Council expressed its hope to hand over power within six months to a civilian authority and a president elected in a peaceful and free manner that expressed the views of the people,” a statement on Egypt’s state news agency MENA said.

Filed under: Diplomacy

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