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EU to decide on observing upcoming referendum

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EU mission arrives in Egypt, decision on observing the referendum will be based on the mission’s report

A mission of election experts from the European Union (EU) has arrived in Cairo ahead of possible EU observation of the referendum on the constitution.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Badr Abdelatty said in a statement on Wednesday that the talks mission members held with Egyptian diplomats addressed a draft memorandum of understanding to be signed by the Egyptian government to organise sending a “full mission” from the EU “for the first time” to follow up with the electoral process.

Abdelatty said this comes as part of the Egyptian government’s keenness on organising the referendum “under complete international and local” observation.

Typically, the Egyptian government sends out invitations to various bodies to observe the voting process. The EU delegation in Egypt said the exploratory mission in Cairo was sent after the EU received its invitation from the Egyptian government.

Members of the mission will hold talks with “everyone” before sending a report to Brussels. Based on this report, it will be decided whether the EU will observe the referendum or not.

The mission was received by Deputy Foreign Minister Hamdi Sanad Loza as well as several assistants to the minister.

Interim President Adly Mansour said in an address to the Third Africa-Arab summit that the referendum on a “modern” constitution will be held within a weeks, and will be followed by parliamentary and presidential elections.

Mohamed Salmawy, the spokesman of the Constituent Assembly which has been tasked with amending the 2012 constitution, said the assembly is “done with over 75%” of the constitution.


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