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zaterdag, mei 26, 2012

Muslim Brotherhood candidate leads

Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood best organized?
  • The counting of votes is under way in Egypt's historic presidential election
  • The Muslim Brotherhood predicts its candidate will make it into a run-off
  • Results of the first round of voting are not expected before the weekend
  • A top Egyptian election official reports 50% turnout through the second day of voting

Cairo (CNN) -- Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood predicted Friday that its presidential candidate Mohamed Morsi will contest a run-off vote with former regime figure Ahmed Shafik, as counting in the country's landmark election got under way.

A statement on the official Facebook page of the Freedom and Justice party, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, indicated that Morsi had received 30.8% of the votes cast to 22.3% for Shafik.

The Muslim Brotherhood said it had observed the counting of 51% of the vote.

If no candidate gets a majority of the vote in the first round, a second round will be held June 16-17. There were 13 candidates on the ballot, although two withdrew from the race after ballots were printed.

Electoral officials monitor voting in Namul, a village north of Cairo, on Thursday, May 24, 2012, the second and final day of voting in Egypt's historic presidential election. Egypt is holding its first presidential election since last year's toppling of Hosni Mubarak, part of the wave of Arab Spring uprisings.Electoral officials monitor voting in Namul, a village north of Cairo, on Thursday, May 24, 2012, the second and final day of voting in Egypt's historic presidential election. Egypt is holding its first presidential election since last year's toppling of Hosni Mubarak, part of the wave of Arab Spring uprisings.
Egyptian women wait in line Thursday to cast their vote outside a polling station in Cairo. If no candidate gets a majority of the vote in the first round of voting, a second round will be held June 16-17. Egyptian women wait in line Thursday to cast their vote outside a polling station in Cairo. If no candidate gets a majority of the vote in the first round of voting, a second round will be held June 16-17.
An election worker checks the identification of a voter at a polling place Thursday in Namul as Egyptian soldiers stand guard.An election worker checks the identification of a voter at a polling place Thursday in Namul as Egyptian soldiers stand guard.
A soldier stands watch in the Egyptian capital on the second day of voting. A pervasive fear exists that the powerful military, which has run the country since Mubarak's fall 16 months ago, could try to hijack the election.A soldier stands watch in the Egyptian capital on the second day of voting. A pervasive fear exists that the powerful military, which has run the country since Mubarak's fall 16 months ago, could try to hijack the election.
An Egyptian man waits to cast his ballot Thursday north of Cairo. The vote is considered Egypt's first free and fair presidential election in modern history. An Egyptian man waits to cast his ballot Thursday north of Cairo. The vote is considered Egypt's first free and fair presidential election in modern history.
An Egyptian man drops off his ballot at a polling station Thursday in Cairo. The voting marks the first time Egypt has held a presidential election in which the results aren't known beforehand.An Egyptian man drops off his ballot at a polling station Thursday in Cairo. The voting marks the first time Egypt has held a presidential election in which the results aren't known beforehand.
An Egyptian woman holds up an ink-stained finger after casting her ballot in Cairo on Wednesday, May 23, 2012, the first day of voting in the historic election. An Egyptian woman holds up an ink-stained finger after casting her ballot in Cairo on Wednesday, May 23, 2012, the first day of voting in the historic election.
A voter studies her ballot Wednesday in Cairo. Thirteen candidates are competing in the wide-open race, but two withdrew after ballots were printed.A voter studies her ballot Wednesday in Cairo. Thirteen candidates are competing in the wide-open race, but two withdrew after ballots were printed.
Egyptian men fill out their ballots Wednesday in Cairo. Results of the first round of voting are not expected before the weekend.Egyptian men fill out their ballots Wednesday in Cairo. Results of the first round of voting are not expected before the weekend.
An Egyptian man casts his ballot at a Cairo polling station. Some Egyptians told CNN that they waited up to four hours Wednesday to vote.An Egyptian man casts his ballot at a Cairo polling station. Some Egyptians told CNN that they waited up to four hours Wednesday to vote.
Egyptian men shield themselves from the hot sun outside a Cairo polling station Wednesday.Egyptian men shield themselves from the hot sun outside a Cairo polling station Wednesday.
Egyptian men line up to cast their vote Wednesday in Cairo. Some 30,000 volunteers fanned out to ensure voting is fair, said organizers with the April 6 youth movement, which has campaigned for greater democracy in Egypt.Egyptian men line up to cast their vote Wednesday in Cairo. Some 30,000 volunteers fanned out to ensure voting is fair, said organizers with the April 6 youth movement, which has campaigned for greater democracy in Egypt.
Egyptian men fill out their ballots at a Cairo polling place.Egyptian men fill out their ballots at a Cairo polling place.
Presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahy, a leftist dark-horse contender, flashes a sign of victory as he waits to vote at a Cairo school.Presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahy, a leftist dark-horse contender, flashes a sign of victory as he waits to vote at a Cairo school.
Presidential candidate Abdelmonen Abol Fotoh, a moderate Islamist, casts his ballot Wednesday in Cairo.Presidential candidate Abdelmonen Abol Fotoh, a moderate Islamist, casts his ballot Wednesday in Cairo.
An Egyptian Coptic nun drops her ballot at a Cairo polling station Wednesday. An Egyptian Coptic nun drops her ballot at a Cairo polling station Wednesday.
Egyptian women wait outside a polling station in Cairo. Many Egyptians seem uncertain of their loyalties to any particular candidate.Egyptian women wait outside a polling station in Cairo. Many Egyptians seem uncertain of their loyalties to any particular candidate.
Egypt holds historic vote
Egypt holds historic vote
Egypt holds historic vote
Egypt holds historic vote
Egypt holds historic vote
Egypt holds historic vote
Egypt holds historic vote
Egypt holds historic vote
Egyptian holds historic vote
Egypt holds historic vote
Egypt holds historic vote
Egypt holds historic vote
Egypt holds historic vote
Egypt holds historic vote
Egypt holds historic vote
Egypt holds historic vote
Egypt holds historic vote
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About half all Egypt's roughly 50 million registered voters had cast ballots by the end of Thursday, the second and final day in the nation's historic presidential election, said Farouk Sultan, head of the Higher Presidential Committee.

Amid worries by some that Egypt's current military rulers might somehow hijack the election, Sultan detailed the vote counting process -- including checks and balances aimed at insuring credibility.

According to the committee head, votes will be tallied in the various polling locales by a judge and in the presence of representatives of the candidates. Each final count will be announced aloud, then an official report will be filed that can be viewed by nonprofit groups, the media and candidates, said Sultan.

Results of the first round are not expected before the weekend.

Among the candidates vying for the presidency are Morsi, of the Freedom and Justice Party; Shafik, who was Mubarak's last prime minister; Amre Moussa, who served as foreign minister under Mubarak and headed the Arab League; Abdelmonen Abol Fotoh, a moderate Islamist running as a respected independent; and Hamdeen Sabahy, a leftist dark-horse contender.

Morsi is an American-educated engineer who vows to stand for democracy, women's rights, and peaceful relations with Israel if he wins the Egyptian presidency. He's also an Islamist figure who has argued for barring women from the Egyptian presidency and called Israeli leaders "vampires" and "killers."

The Muslim Brotherhood had originally pledged not to seek the presidency.

Shafik, a former Air Force officer with close ties to Egypt's powerful military, is seen as representing the interests of the old guard -- those who lost out when former President Hosni Mubarak was ousted.

Government employees were given a day off work to vote on who will be Egypt's first president since Mubarak, who led the North African nation for 30 years before resigning amid a popular outcry.

He is awaiting the court's verdict and could potentially face the death penalty after going on trial for corruption and allegedly ordering the killing of anti-government protesters.

The voting is a monumental achievement for those who worked to topple Mubarak in one of the seminal developments of the Arab Spring more than a year ago.

And it could reverberate far beyond the country's borders, since Egypt is in many ways the center of gravity of the Arab world.

"Egypt has always set trends in the Arab world and for Arab political thought. Trends spread through the Arab world and eventually affect even non-Arab, Muslim-majority countries," said Maajid Nawaz, the chairman of Quilliam, a London-based think tank.

Egypt's election "bodes well for the rest of the Arab world and particularly those countries that have had uprisings," said Nawaz, a former Islamist who was imprisoned in Egypt for four years for banned political activism.

Many protesters are upset at what they see as the slow pace of reform since Mubarak's ouster. Some are also concerned that the country's military leadership is delaying the transition to civilian rule.

Worries about the powerful military possibly swaying this week's vote persist despite the insistence of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces that it will hand over power to an elected civilian government.

The military leaders put armored personnel carriers on the streets with loudspeakers broadcasting a message that they will relinquish power, but that did not convince doubters.

Nawaz said Egypt probably is not heading toward a simple case of the military either giving up control or rejecting the results of the election.

Instead, he anticipated, there will be an "unhappy settlement" where the military remains "ever-present, in the shadows," influencing the civilian government without controlling it.

In January, two Islamist parties -- the Freedom and Justice Party with 235 seats and the conservative Al Nour party with 121 seats -- won about 70% of the seats in the lower house of parliament in the first elections for an elected governing body in the post-Mubarak era. The rest of the assembly's 498 seats were divided among other parties.

CNN's Amir Ahmed and Richard Allen Greene contributed to this report.

Source: http://edition.cnn.com/2012/05/25/world/meast/egypt-elections/index.html?eref=edition

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