The Passionate Attachment

America's entanglement with Israel

U.S. protects Egyptian electoral process from outside influence

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Seemingly unaware of the irony, The Daily Beast’s Eli Lake reports on U.S. efforts to protect the Egyptian electoral process from outside influence:

A senior administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing diplomatic sensitivities, said, “We share the concern expressed by some Egyptians that not all countries are as transparent and nonpartisan as the U.S. in their support for the election process.”

The official added, “Senior U.S. government officials have raised our concerns with senior Egyptian officials and Egypt’s neighbors, and urged that appropriate measures be taken to ensure the Egyptian election process is protected from outside influence.”

A major concern for the United States has been the influence of Iranian money, according to three U.S. officials.

Taha also said he is urging the U.S. government to publish a list of political organizations that have received support from the U.S. government for democracy assistance in order to prove to the public that his party, al-Ghad, does not receive U.S. funding. For years al-Ghad has been accused in Egypt of being a pawn of the United States.

“We have repeatedly asked to clear our name because we haven’t received foreign funding,” he said. “We are hoping we hear from a U.S. official that the United States did not fund political parties, among them al-Ghad party.”

The United States has provided $60 million for democratic transition in Egypt since Mubarak’s fall from power in February. Some of that money goes toward technical election training like platform writing, election law, and other programs aimed at building a democratic civil society.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said the United States will be prepared to meet with a number of political parties, including the Muslim Brotherhood. A U.S. official told The Daily Beast on Tuesday that a “handful” of members of the Muslim Brotherhood have “availed themselves of programs” funded by the United States for election training.

Jon Alterman, the director of the Middle East program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the funding for election training executed by groups like the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute are not ways to influence the outcome of foreign elections.

“If the United States were trying to shift the outcome of the Egyptian elections, it would not do it through the democracy assistance money,” Alterman said. “If you want to influence elections, you do it covertly. There is too much transparency in how [the democracy assistance funding] would be used.”

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Written by Maidhc Ó Cathail

October 7, 2011 at 8:51 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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