The Ministry of Foreign Affairs received with “surprise and wonder” the Carter Center’s recent decision to close their Egypt office due to “a deeply polarised and narrow” political environment, according to a foreign ministry statement.
The Carter Center, a democratic rights organisation co-founded by former US president Jimmy Carter, has been monitoring the electoral process in Egypt since the 2011 uprising.
On Wednesday, the centre announced in a statement that it shut down its office and will not deploy an observation mission to assess Egypt’s next parliamentary elections.
The Egyptian foreign ministry said the centre has had “contradictory stands”, seeing as it has monitored elections over the past three years in Egypt. The statement said the centre’s manager said last August that the decision is a “logistical one”.
The “excuses that the Carter Center has provided for its closure are wrong, unreasonable, and inaccurate”, the ministry said.
The ministry added that the centre’s positions raise doubts regarding its “political orientations, motives, and even its goals”.
The democracy watchdog stated that Egypt has been cracking down on civil society with its recent NGO laws, and it advised the Egyptian government to end its crackdown on journalists, dissidents, and the political opposition, including the Muslim Brotherhood.
The current political environment, Kerry said, “is not conducive to genuine democratic elections and civic participation.”