Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today commended Egyptians for the enthusiastic and relatively calm conduct of voting in their country’s first elections since the long-standing regime of Hosni Mubarak was overthrown.
Egyptians went to the polls yesterday and today for the first stage of voting for members of the 508-member People’s Assembly, or lower house of Parliament, with further stages of voting to be held between now and early next year.
In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban praised both the authorities and the public for their enthusiastic participation and for the “generally calm and orderly manner in which voting took place.”
The parliamentary elections are taking place nine months after Mr. Mubarak was toppled and replaced by interim authorities headed by the military, and in recent days dozens of people have been killed during large-scale protests calling for a quicker transition to civilian rule.
In the statement Mr. Ban said he had been following the situation in Egypt with great interest.
“He congratulates the people of Egypt for their determination to achieve a democratic change in their country and for their contribution to the overall democratic transformation in North Africa and the Middle East,” the statement noted.
Mr. Ban stressed that voting this week is only the first stage of an electoral process that will lead to the establishment of civilian rule.
“The Secretary-General reiterates that it is crucial, as part of the democratic transition, for the entire electoral process to continue to be held in a credible and peaceful manner.”