The European Union extended congratulations to former military chief Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi for his elections victory this week, saying the conclusion of elections “marks an important step in the implementation of the constitutional roadmap towards the transition to democracy in Egypt”.
The EU said it trusted that Al-Sisi would tackle “serious issues” including economic problems, “deep divisions within society”, security, and “the rest of human rights of all Egyptian citizens in line with international obligations and guaranteed by the new constitution”.
The statement issued on Thursday also raised some concerns about the political environment in Egypt leading up to and during presidential elections. “Freedoms of association, assembly, and expression are areas of concern, including in the context of this election,” it added. “The EU reiterates its deep concern with the continued detention of members of peaceful civil society, political opposition and activists,” read the statement, which also mentioned the detention of journalists, the Protest Law, and defendants’ rights to a fair and timely trial based on clear charges as areas of further concern.
The European Union also called for credible investigations of violence since 30 June and the review of death sentences handed down to accused in mass trials.
“The EU hopes that the period ahead, particularly with parliamentary elections in view, will be marked by a spirit of dialogue aimed at reducing political division,” said the European Union.
The union added that it was ready to assist Egypt in the field of improving “good governance” and as a “strategic partner in the region to address common challenges”.
The EU deployed an elections observer mission that concluded earlier this week that the elections were conducted within the law but “in an environment falling short of constitutional principles”.