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Egypt court allows monitoring of vote count with cameras

[JURIST] An Egyptian court has ruled that closed-circuit TV cameras will be installed in polling places in order to allow independent monitors to watch ballot counting in Egypt's parliamentary elections [JURIST news archive], which will finish with the third round runoff vote this week. Election monitoring groups have accused police and the ruling National Democratic Party [party website, English version] of arresting [JURIST report] and beating supporters of the banned Muslim Brotherhood [Wikipedia profile] and blocking polls [JURIST report] throughout the election process. The Arab Center for Independence of the Judiciary and Legal Profession [advocacy website] sued for the cameras to be installed and the court agreed saying it would help ensure a "cleaner election." AP has more.

Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] has sent a letter [text] to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice [official biography] criticizing the US response to the Egyptian elections after US State Department [official website] spokesman Sean McCormack [official profile] said last week that the US has not been given "any indication that the Egyptian government isn't interested in having peaceful, free and fair elections." The New York-based rights group said McCormack's remarks "badly undermine the administration's credibility . . . when it speaks of its commitment to democratic freedoms in Egypt and the region." Reuters has more.

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