“Fewer youth than usual voted in the election in Egypt. This is cause for concern,” says Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide (H).
“What’s happening in Egypt is important for the whole region,” says Søreide to NTB.
Last week, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was re-elected as president with 97 percent of the votes. But the electoral participation was only 41 percent, and many used the election as an opportunity to protest against the regime. On Tuesday it became known that over 7 percent of ballot papers were invalid.
Particularly among youth, the election participation was lower than usual.
-“This is not good. The youth share of the people in Egypt is great, and the they must be included in political processes that is crucial for democracy,” says Søreide – who has not yet congratulated Sisi with the election.
“We look forward to further cooperation with Egypt on important issues in the region. Egypt faces significant challenges. It is crucial that the country in the next few years work to strengthen and expand democracy,” said the Foreign Minister.
Sisi took power in Egypt in 2014 after winning the election from the democratically elected Muslim Islamic Mohamed Mursi.
The opposition in the country has described the presidential election of the year as a farse. Several politicians initially wanted to challenge Sisi, but all but one were either denied by the electoral commission, arrested or pressured to withdraw.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today