Presidential runoff between Morsy and Shafiq, voter turnout 46 percent

Presidential runoff between Morsy and Shafiq, voter turnout 46 percent

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Mon, 28/05/2012 - 16:30

The runoff for Egypt’s president will pit Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsy against Ahmed Shafiq, Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister and a former air force commander, the Presidential Elections Commission announced Monday.

Farouk Sultan, head of the commission, told reporters that it rejected all appeals and has recounted the votes, which gives Morsy the lead with 5,764,952 or 24.77 percent of the votes. Shafiq received 5,505,327, which is 23.66 percent.

The turnout was 46.42 percent, which means that about 23.67 million of 51 million eligible voters cast their ballots.

Sultan admitted there were various voting irregularities, but said the commission recounted the vote and that the irregularities as a whole do not affect the results of the election.

Names of ineligible voters had been aggregated and sent to all polling stations to be removed from the voting lists, he said.

He thanked judges, the armed forces and police for handling the elections properly.

 “The people of Egypt now believe that the judges of Egypt are up to their promises,” Sultan said.

Nasserist candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi finished third, with 4.82 million votes or 20.7 percent; moderate Islamist Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh placed fourth, with 4.57 million or 19.98 percent; and former Arab League chief Amr Moussa finished fifth, with 2.59 million or 11.12 percent.

Sultan said the commission had investigated seven complaints about the voting filed by four candidates: Shafiq, Sabbahi, Abouel Fotouh and Moussa.

The commission rejected all of them because they lacked sufficient evidence to prove that the polling stations cited had witnessed electoral irregularities, he said.

Sultan also denied reports that 600,000 to 900,000 soldiers from the police and army — who are not eligible to vote, according to the law — had cast ballots in the election.

He said that since the People’s Assembly elections that took place from November to January, only 941,715 voters, of which around 500,000 were women, were added to the electoral database.

Abouel Fotouh, a former Brotherhood member, had earlier rejected the results, saying the election had not been honest — some of the strongest criticism yet of the polls that will determine who succeeds Mubarak.

“I cannot call these elections clean under any circumstances, even if they announce that I won,” Abouel Fotouh said in a press conference. “I had hoped that at the least it would be as fair as the parliamentary elections [held late last year]. It wasn’t.”

Mahmoud Qandil, a legal adviser for Sabbahi’s campaign, told Egypt Independent, “Speaking is worthless now. We presented an appeal and it was refused. There is little more we can do.”

A Shafiq campaigner watched in anticipation with tears in his eyes while the election results were being broadcast. When Sultan announced that Shafiq would compete in the runoff with Morsy, the quiet room burst into cheers, whistles, claps and hysterical laughter.

The campaign members threw themselves in each other’s arms, chanting, “The people demand Shafiq to be president,” and “Oh, Shafiq is your president!”

“I am finally satisfied. … This is it,” campaigner Heba Hamed said, with a broad smile and tears in her eyes. “Shafiq is the president.”

Mohamed Allam, a 52-year-old teacher who came from Monufiya to see the results announced, said, “I am here to congratulate Ahmed Shafiq — this is justice. Those who elected Shafiq are true Egyptians.”