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Carter: Egypt's Military Should Be 'Subservient' to Elected Officials

January 13, 2012

VOA News

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter says Egypt's military should be "completely subservient" to elected officials after transition to a civilian government later this year.

Carter spoke at a news conference in Cairo Friday, after meeting with Egypt's transitional military government during a visit to help monitor a third round of parliamentary elections, as Egypt selects elected leaders to replace the military rulers.

The former president said he believes the military leaders want to have some "special privilege" in the government after a president is elected.

Carter said he believes all power should be in the hands of elected officials.

Assessing the election, Carter said there were about 900 complaints to Egypt's chief prosecutor about "irregularities" during the vote. But he also said that in general the will of the people seemed to be accurately represented.

He said training for election officials was inadequate, and he said he has "great disappointment" that so few women had the chance to run for office.

On Thursday, Carter told the Reuters news agency that an abrupt change in the totality of military authority this year is more than can be expected. He says he military wants to keep as much control as possible.

Carter says there must be permanent limits on the military written into a new Egyptian constitution.

This year's elections were the first in Egypt since a popular uprising toppled Hosni Mubarak last year. According to the country's transitional military government, a full house of parliament and a president will be elected by June.

Thousands of Egyptians have protested against the military government in recent months, accusing it of trying to put off moves towards a civilian administration.




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