Reuters withdraws article on reported violations in Egypt’s election

Al-Masry Al-Youm

International news agency of Reuters withdrew on Thursday an article it published on March 28 regarding reported violations that took place during the electoral process after Egypt’s State Information Service (SIS) expressed its complete rejection of the “inaccurate” information mentioned in the article. Reuters replaced the aforementioned report with a message to readers saying that “the item detailed below is withdrawn because it did not meet Reuters standards.” This message was published through all the media outlets affiliated to the agency.

According to an SIS statement, Diaa Rashwan, head of the Information Service, has been in direct contact since Wednesday with regional officials at Reuters after publishing false reports regarding the conduct of the electoral process in Egypt. “Rashwan received from Reuters administration officials that the agency’s management in London and New York decided to withdraw the reports referred to, and published the withdrawal decision through all the agency’s media around the world,” the SIS said in a statement.

SIS considered Reuters’ decision “an acknowledgement from the agency that the reports are not true.” Recently Egypt’s SIS praised the foreign media coverage of the 2018 Egyptian presidential election, according to media statements from Mohammed Imam, the head of the SIS operations room, but warned about consequences for “unprofessional” coverage of the election.

Imam affirmed that since the beginning of the first day of the election, general coverage has been positive with the exception of some articles by writers in international media outlets that are not accredited with the Egyptian Center for Foreign Correspondents. He added that the SIS operations room under the leadership of Diaa Rashwan met with a number of foreign correspondents to solve their issues in covering the election, emphasizing that the BBC, CNN, and Reuters published good reports on the elections.

“Any foreign article written in a non-professional manner regarding the presidential election will receive a direct and clear response. If the writer is in Cairo, then they will be summoned, even if they are not a resident. A clarification will be sent to him or her regarding the information they published,” he said. Egyptian polling stations were open for three days across the country for voters to elect their president, with people rejoicing and playing patriotic songs on speakers.

Only two competitors were in the running for the presidency: President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and head of the Ghad Party Moussa Mostafa Moussa. Exit polls and preliminary indicators on Thursday morning indicated that Sisi had been re-elected for the presidency with 92 percent of the vote, with a turnout of 40 percent.
Nearly 59 million people were legible to cast their votes at the ballots.