News and Updates

President Bill Sweeney Reaffirms IFES’ Relationship with Egyptian Stakeholders

As Egypt prepares for parliamentary elections that will be held starting in March 2015, International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) President and CEO Bill Sweeney traveled to Egypt to reaffirm IFES’ commitment to working with key Egyptian government stakeholders. At a reception held in Cairo on February 5, President Sweeney met with the spokesman of the High Elections Commission (HEC), Judge Omar Marwan, and Chairman of the State Information Service Ambassador Salah Abdel Sadek. They were joined by officials from the Ministry of Social Solidarity and Ministry of Transitional Justice; members of the diplomatic community, including representatives from the U.S. Embassy and U.S. Agency for International Development, and the Embassies of Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the European Union; and representatives from the United Nations Development Programme and the Arab League.

Speaking to the attendees of the reception, President Sweeney reflected on IFES’ work in Egypt: “From providing advice to the High Elections Commission on the most effective ballot boxes, to working with local partners on voter education campaigns accessible to all, it’s been a great privilege to assist Egypt’s electoral bodies as they accomplish much in the way of improving election procedures and processes, and laying the groundwork for future, seamlessly run electoral cycles.” President Sweeney also noted, “IFES is excited about the tantalizing potential the constitutionally mandated permanent election body will bring to the conduct of further elections, and we hope to continue to leverage the partnerships we’ve made over the past few years to help you respond to this important mandate.”’

Attendees, particularly the various Egyptian government officials, noted how integral IFES is to elections in Egypt, in both the short and long term. In the short term, in preparation for the upcoming parliamentary elections, IFES is working closely with the HEC on procuring key election-related commodities, including tamper-evident seals, vests for polling-station personnel, and various other items for securing and storing ballots and other sensitive election documents.