U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has issued a warning today to Russia and Egypt concerning the results of recent elections in both countries.
At a speech at the 18th Annual Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Ministerial Council meeting, Clinton expressed concerns over election fraud in Russia and respect for human rights in Egypt.
“We have serious concerns about the conduct of the elections,” Clinton told OSCE members at her address regarding allegations of fraud at Sunday's parliamentary elections in Russia.
Clinton discussed how independent political parties were denied the right to register in the election and that ballet box stuffing appears to be a viable concern.
“Russian voters deserve a full investigation of electoral fraud and manipulation,” she said.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s party took the majority of the parliamentary seats in the vote but activists are arguing that the election was fraudulent and protesters have taken to the streets of Moscow to voice their disapproval of the elections.
Russian leaders deny the claims, arguing that the elections were fair.
With regards to Egypt, Clinton called on emerging leaders in the country to respect democracy and human rights.
In recent elections, Egypt’s more moderate Muslim Brotherhood accumulated almost 40 percent of the vote, while its hard-line al-Nour party won as much as 25 percent of the vote, leaving some analysts concerned over what Egypt’s democratic transition will look like if radical Islamists take power.
“Transitions require fair and inclusive elections, but they also demand that those who are elected embrace democratic norms and rules,” she said.
“We therefore expect all democratic actors and elected officials to uphold universal human rights, including women’s rights, to allow free religious practice, to promote tolerance and good relations among communities of different faiths, and to support peaceful relations with their neighbors,” the leader added.
Nevertheless, fears abound that rights for women and minority groups, including Christians, will not be respected in the new Egypt.
The annual OSCE meeting will be held on Dec. 6 and Dec. 7 this year.
The meeting enables leaders from the 56 member states to come together to review and assess organizational activities as well as provide national security perspectives on high-level security concerns.