Egyptians Cast Ballots for Presidential Elections for Second Day

Local Editor

Egyptian presidential electionsPolls opened on Tuesday for a second day of voting in Egypt’s presidential elections, the first since the military ouster of president Mohammad Mursi, the country’s first freely elected president, last year.

The winner of the polls will take over from interim president Adly Mansour, who was installed by the army following Mursi’s July 3 ouster and subsequent imprisonment.

In a bid to encourage voters to cast their ballots, the Egyptian government had declared Tuesday an official holiday.

The vote is the second step in an army-imposed roadmap for Egypt’s post-Mursi transition. The first step of the plan was completed in January with the approval of a new constitution via public referendum.

The roadmap, which included a constitutional referendum in January, will conclude with parliamentary elections later this year.

Five international organizations and 79 local ones have been authorized by the electoral commission to observe the voting process.

In addition to nongovernmental monitors, envoys from the Arab League; the European Union; the African Union; the Common Market for East and South Africa will follow up the vote.

Around 300,000 police and army personnel have been deployed to secure the process nationwide.

Observers expect that former minister of defense Abdulfattah al-Sisi to dominate the polls, especially after he secured an overwhelming 95.4 percent of the vote in expatriate polling last week, according to results announced by Egypt’s electoral commission.

Parliamentary poll, the final milestone of the roadmap, is expected sometime this year after the presidential vote.

Presidential poll results will be officially announced on June 5.

Source: Websites
27-05-2014 – 10:30 Last updated 27-05-2014 

Sisi Approaches Victory in Egypt’s Presidential Elections

Local Editor

SisiEgyptians voted for a new president Monday in an election expected to give a landslide victory to the ex-army chief who ousted the country’s first democratically-elected leader and crushed his Islamist movement.

The two-day election is the first since the frontrunner Abdel Fattah al-Sisi deposed Islamist president Mohammad Mursi in July, a move that unleashed the bloodiest violence in Egypt’s recent history.

Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood is boycotting the vote, as are revolutionary youths who fear Sisi is an autocrat in the making.

But the 59-year-old retired field marshall is expected to trounce his sole rival, leftist Hamdeen Sabbahi, amid widespread calls for stability.

Sisi himself voted minutes after polling opened Monday amid a throng of jostling reporters and supporters. About 53 million people are eligible to vote.

“The entire world is watching us, how Egyptians are writing history and their future today and tomorrow,” Sisi said.

“Egyptians must be reassured that tomorrow will be very beautiful and great,” he said, as supporters shook his hand and kissed his cheeks.

Many view the vote as a referendum on stability versus the freedoms promised by the Arab Spring-inspired popular uprising that ousted veteran strongman Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

Since the revolution, the country of 86 million people has been rocked by sporadic unrest and a tanking economy.

Mubarak’s successor, Mursi, lasted one year in office, winning Egypt’s first democratic presidential poll only to quickly alienate many who held mass rallies demanding his resignation.

“We need someone who speaks in a determined and strong way. The Egyptian people are frightened by this and respect those who are like this,” said Milad Yusef, a 29-year-old lawyer waiting to vote in Cairo.

Yusef said he had voted for Sabbahi in the 2012 election that Mursi won, but that he would now back Sisi.

“We need someone strong, a military man,” he said.

Sisi has said “true democracy” would take a couple of decades, and suggested he would not tolerate protests disrupting the economy.

He also pledged to eliminate the Brotherhood, which won every election following Mubarak’s overthrow after being banned for decades.

The Islamist movement is boycotting the election, along with the April 6 youth movement which spearheaded the anti-Mubarak revolt, and said Sunday it would reject the outcome.

Source: Agencies
26-05-2014 – 22:14 Last updated 26-05-2014

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