Rights groups say military council interfering with elections commission

Egyptian rights groups on Sunday rejected interference by the ruling military council in the work of the High Elections Commission, which will organize the country's upcoming elections.

In a press conference, six rights groups said a recent decision by the military council interferes with the commission's work and independence.
On 20 July, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) announced its refusal to allow international monitors to observe elections.
However, the draft law on political rights issued earlier by the council stated that the commission is responsible for "setting rules for participation of Egyptian and foreign civil society organizations in monitoring elections."
The SCAF's refusal raises suspicions about the integrity of the coming elections, the groups said, and whether the government will deal with elections in the same way as the Mubarak regime.
In a statement, the groups clarified that either local or international monitoring of elections guarantees integrity, and that oversight during the interim period is important for restoring people's confidence in the elections process.

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