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MIDEAST > Egypt will choose Morsi or Shafiq

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Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi
AFP photo

Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi AFP photo

Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi and former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq will go through to a second round presidential run-off vote, Egypt’s electoral commission confirmed yesterday.

 Announcing the results, electoral commission chief Faruq Sultan said: “No candidate won an outright majority, so according to Article 40 of the presidential election law, there will be a run-off between Morsi and Shafiq.” Sultan said Morsi had won 5,764,952 votes, slightly ahead of Shafiq with 5,505,327. Nasserist candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi was in third place with more than 4.8 million votes, ahead of moderate Islamist Abdel-Moneim Abolfotoh with 4.05 million. Former foreign minister Amr Moussa came fifth, trailing with 2.58 million votes, Agence France-Presse quoted Sultan as saying.

Salafis back Morsi

The commission put official turnout in the vote, the first since the 2011 uprising that ousted president Hosni Mubarak, at 46 percent, of the 50 million Egyptians who were eligible to cast a ballot in the historic election.

Egypt’s ultra-conservative Salafist Al-Nour Party has announced it will back Morsi against Shafiq. “The High Committee of the Al-Nour Party supports Dr. Mohammed Morsi for president of the republic in the runoff,” the party said on its official Twitter account. The Al-Nour Party had backed moderate Islamist and ex-Brotherhood member Abdel-Moneim Abolfotoh in the presidential race after their candidate Hazem Abu Ismail was disqualified from standing.

Moussa, Abolfotoh not endorsing anyone

Moussa and Abolfotoh also declined to endorse either of the presumed front runners in a presidential election runoff. A “return to the old regime is unacceptable. So is exploiting religion in politics,” Moussa told a press conference. “Egyptians will only be comfortable with a civil state. A religious state is something very divisive,” he warned.

Abolfotoh also refused to openly back a single candidate, but said a return to the old regime was unacceptable. “We will announce our position when the results are announced,” said Abolfotoh. “The most important thing is that people don’t vote for a felool,” Abolfotoh said, using a common pejorative term for members of the old regime.

May/29/2012

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