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African Union deploys 40 observers for Egypt presidential election

The African Union (AU) will send a delegation of 40 observers to monitor Egypt's upcoming presidential elections due on 26-28 March, state news agency MENA reported yesterday.

The AU mission, led by the former foreign minister of Mali Abdoulaye Diop, is expected to arrive in Cairo next Saturday.

According to the AU's Information and Communication Directorate, Egypt's National Elections Authority invited the mission to observe the upcoming ballot.

Egyptians living abroad already cast their votes on 16-18 March.

The polls will see incumbent President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi facing Musa Mustafa Musa, the leader of Al-Ghad liberal party.

Read: Ahead of elections, Egypt's Sisi says he needs $2 trillion to build Egypt

Local and international rights groups condemned Egypt's presidential elections last week, saying the race would neither be free nor fair.

Politicians say that the Egyptian authorities have manipulated the upcoming elections to guarantee a win for Al-Sisi, who now faces only an obscure politician who supports him as an adversary. But the country's electoral commission has pledged to run the vote "according to principles of independence, transparency and objectivity."

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