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Crocker, Ex-Diplomat, Says Egypt Must Call Elections

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Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Ryan Crocker, former U.S. ambassador to Iraq, said Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak must endorse a set of free and fair elections to pave the way for a new government.

“We’re talking about the need for orderly change in transition that’s going to have to be Egyptian-led,” Crocker, now dean of the Bush School of Government at Public Service at Texas A&M University, said today on Bloomberg Television. “Time is of the essence.”

Crocker said it was important that the U.S. stand by with offers of advice and counsel for Egypt’s new leaders without “telling them what to do.” He said the U.S. needs to “ask them some questions” and “make some suggestions.”

Still, Crocker said, there’s little doubt “the Mubarak era is coming to an end.”

Presidential elections are scheduled for September, he said.

“This would be a great time for the Egyptian government to announce they want to turn the national dialogue” toward free and fair elections, Crocker said.

It would be good for President Mubarak to announce “that he would not be a candidate,” and set up an independent election commission that should involve establishment and non-establishment leaders, he said.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at msilva34@bloomberg.net.

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