Egypt rejects US meddling in internal affairs

Egypt said Thursday it was "dismayed" by Washington's call for foreign monitors to observe the country's upcoming parliamentary elections, describing it as meddling in its internal affairs.

A statement released by the Foreign Affairs Ministry said the U.S. was acting like an "overseer" and was not respecting Egypt's sovereignty.

"It seems that the U.S. insists on not respecting the privacy of the Egyptian society and making statements that incense Egypt's nationalism," said the statement.

Elections in Egypt are routinely marred by fraud but authorities have pledged, as in past years, that the Nov. 28 balloting will be fair.

Egypt has rejected calls for allowing international observers to monitor the vote saying it would be a violation of its sovereignty, instead saying local groups could do the job.

In the last two parliamentary elections, Egypt's judiciary supervised the polling stations, resulting in less fraud than in the past.

In 2007, however, President Hosni Mubarak introduced a number of amendments to the constitution, including one which removed the judiciary from the polling stations and relegated them to only an indirect supervisory role.

Rights groups and opposition activists maintain the change will once again open the way for widespread vote rigging.

The Egyptian statement specifically criticized the Egypt Working Group, a bipartisan group of senators and foreign policy analysts in Washington pushing the Obama administration to put pressure on Egypt to assure free vote and allow international monitors to have access to the polls.

"Egypt rejects this pressure ... this is the kind of group that aims to spread chaos in the Middle East without considering the consequences of their vision," said the statement.

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