Egypt: Egypt electoral commission recuses itself in Shafiq appeal | Ahram Online

Egypt’s Supreme Presidential Elections Commission (SPEC) has made a unanimous decision to recuse itself from overseeing an appeal by Ahmed Shafiq against last year’s presidential election result. The commission said it felt “unease” at overseeing the appeal but failed to give further details for the decision. A new commission will be formed on 1 July after the retirement of Judge Maher El-Beheiry, the head of the SPEC and the High Constitutional Court (HCC), and a number of other commission members, at the end of the judicial year on 30 June. The appeal will be heard after a new commission is formed.

Egypt: Morsi wins Egypt’s presidential election | Al Jazeera

The Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi has officially won Egypt’s presidential election and will be the country’s next president, the electoral commission has announced. Morsi picked up 13.2 million votes out of just over 26 million, giving him about 51 per cent of the vote. His competitor, Ahmed Shafiq, the final prime minister under Hosni Mubarak, received 12.3 million. More than 800,000 ballots were invalidated. Farouq Sultan, the head of the election commission, delivered a long speech before announcing the results in which he defended the body’s “independence and integrity” amidst what he called meddling by unnamed political factions. The two candidates filed 456 complaints about the electoral process, Sultan said, most of them allegations of either forgery or Christian voters being blocked from polling stations in Upper Egypt. The vast majority of those complaints were dismissed.

Egypt: Mursi declared Egypt’s first civilian president, but military remains in control | Ahram Online

Muslim Brotherhood presidential candidate Mohamed Mursi has been named Egypt’s fifth president after narrowly defeating his rival, Mubarak-era PM Ahmed Shafiq, in the hotly-contested presidential elections’ runoffs. His victory, however, is barely expected to bring immediate stability to the turmoil-hit country. The final results, which gave 52 per cent of the vote to Mursi, were announced around 4:30pm, Sunday, at the Cairo headquarters of the Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission (SPEC). The announcement sparked massive celebrations in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the epicentre of Egypt’s uprising. … “I would like to thank the military council, the judicial system and the police for their efforts in making the elections clean and fair,” Mursi campaign manager Ahmed Abdel-Atti said shortly after the announcement.

Egypt: Tension soars as Egypt awaits vote results |

Egypt’s military and the Muslim Brotherhood traded blame for rising tensions Friday as the country awaited the outcome of a presidential runoff vote that pits an Islamist against ousted leader Hosni Mubarak’s former prime minister. Brotherhood leaders said the ruling military council is holding the election results hostage as it bargains to maintain its lock on power. Tens of thousands of Brotherhood supporters have rallied in the capital’s Tahrir Square in a show of force backing candidate Mohammed Morsi, who has warned against manipulating results in a vote that he says he has won. The military for its part declared it was acting for “higher national interests’’ and vowed to crack down on any violence by any group unhappy with the electoral outcome. At stake is whether or not Egypt will emerge from the instability of the 16-month transition that followed Mubarak’s 2011 overthrow, or whether the power struggles will continue or even escalate to a more dangerous level. The Brotherhood has said repeatedly that it would not resort to violence, but several media outlets have launched a vigorous campaign against the movement claiming it will plunge the country into chaos if Morsi does not win.

Egypt: As election results delayed until Sunday, Egypt on edge |

Egypt’s election commission announced Thursday that it would delay the official results in the nation’s first contested presidential election until possibly as late as Sunday, fueling already-rampant speculation that the ruling military council may be trying to rig the results. The Presidential Election Commission, which is led by a judicial holdover from the regime of toppled President Hosni Mubarak, announced the delay a day after saying the results would be released Thursday. He said the delay was necessary so that the commission could be deliberate in its review of more than 400 complaints by the candidates, Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Morsi and Ahmed Shafiq, Mubarak’s last prime minister. Among the accusations is that the Morsi campaign stuffed boxes with 1 million forged ballots in polling stations nationwide. According to Morsi’s campaign, its candidate leads Shafiq by 887,014 votes out of nearly 25.6 million cast.

Egypt: Election Results Delayed |

Egypt’s Presidential Election Commission said it would delay the announcement of a winner in the weekend contest as it pressed forward with an investigation into fraud claims. The commission’s decision, reported by the state news agency, didn’t say when it would announce results, which had been expected to come on Thursday. The delay and the unusually vigorous investigation deepened suspense in a country on edge as it waited to learn who will be its first freely elected president. Conflicting reports about the deteriorating health of ousted President Hosni Mubarak, who was briefly pronounced “clinically dead” by state media late on Tuesday before authorities called that an exaggeration, have heightened tensions. “The most dangerous 48 hours in the history of Egypt,” the state-run Al Ahram Newspaper blasted across its front page on Wednesday. Some 3,000 additional soldiers were deployed to protect government buildings across the country as the military braced for unrest following the announcement of results, the newspaper reported on its website.

Egypt: Islamist Declares Presidential Win, Rival Disputes | VoA News

Egyptian Islamist Mohammed Morsi has declared victory in the country’s first post-uprising presidential election, but his establishment-backed rival Ahmed Shafiq disputed the claim as Egypt’s military rulers expanded their powers over the next president. Mr. Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood movement said unofficial results show he won about 52 percent of the vote in the two day run-off election that ended Sunday, compared to 48 percent for Mr. Shafiq, the last prime minister to serve under ousted president Hosni Mubarak. The Brotherhood based its victory claim on results tallied by Brotherhood representatives at almost all of the country’s the polling stations. In a speech at his campaign headquarters Sunday, Mr. Morsi said he will serve as a leader of all Egyptians, both Muslims and Christians, and promised not to “seek revenge or settle accounts” with opponents of the Islamist group. “We are seeking stability, love and brotherhood for an Egyptian state that is civil, national, democratic, constitutional and modern. We all are looking forward to love each other.”

Egypt: Islamists claim presidency | Reuters

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood claimed on Monday that its candidate had won the country’s first free presidential election, defeating Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister and ending 60 years of rule by presidents drawn from the armed forces. An election committee source told Reuters that Islamist Mohamed Morsy, a U.S.-educated engineer, was comfortably ahead of former air force general Ahmed Shafik with most of the votes tallied, but that the count had yet to be officially finalized. However, new head of state is likely to remain subordinate to the military for some time at least. In yet another twist in Egypt’s tortuous path from revolution to democracy, the ruling military council issued a decree as voting ended on Sunday that set strict limits on the president’s powers. On the eve of the election, it had already dissolved the Islamist-led parliament. Liberal and Islamist opponents denounced a “military coup”.

Egypt: Presidential election overshadowed by further army power grab and voter fraud claims | Telegraph

Few analysts were willing to predict the outcome of the battle between the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi and Ahmed Shafiq, a former general and aide to ex-President Hosni Mubarak, despite the Islamist movement’s long domination of the Egyptian street. The Brotherhood said opinion polls showed their man would win a free vote comfortably. But they also claimed that “fake voters” were appearing on polling station lists – dead people and members of the security forces, who in Egypt are supposed to remain neutral and are disqualified.

Egypt: High court nullifies parliamentary elections; calls for dissolution of parliament, raising new transition fears | The Washington Post

Egypt’s highest court ruled Thursday that the Islamist-dominated parliament should be dissolved because one-third of its members were elected unlawfully, blunting the astonishing political ascent of the Muslim Brotherhood and imperiling the country’s transition to democratic rule. The decision and a second one safeguarding the presidential candidacy of former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq quickly strengthened the hand of forces linked to Egypt’s old regime, and significantly raised the stakes of the weekend’s runoff vote between Shafiq and the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi.

Egypt: Supreme Court to rule on disenfranchisement law today | Business Standard

In view of an expected ruling on the disenfranchisement law today, a number of political movements in Egypt have called for marches this morning to the Supreme Constitutional Court in Cairo suburb of Maadi. The SCC is anticipated to rule on the constitutionality of the Political Isolation Law, which would disqualify former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq from the presidential runoff election on 16 and 17 June if applied. The court would also consider the validity of the parliamentary polls. The April 6 Youth Movement has called on revolutionary groups and citizens to take part in a march demanding the application of the Political Isolation Law on all former regime members.

Editorials: The mother of the world: The birth of Egypt’s democracy | Al Jazeera

There is much fear and frustration about the unfolding presidential elections in Egypt. So much so that the astounding historical significance of the event and its widespread consequences for the rest of the Arab and Muslim world seem to have escaped us.  Analysts are asking: Has the revolution failed? Are people casting a referendum on the actual revolution when they select a formal Mubarak-era official as their top choice? Are the Islamists poised to take over Egypt and turn it into a theocracy? Is the military behind it all? Will it step in to establish “order” when people are finally tired of all these demonstrations and fear for their mundane well-being? Will the US, the Israelis, or the Saudis – with all their might and money – “allow” Egyptians actually to bring their revolution to fruition and thus effectively endanger their respective interests in the region?  People in and out of Egypt were naturally drawn to a crescendo, a bravura, where the first ever democratic presidential election in Egyptian history would be the final battle scene against the ancien régime. But once Ahmed Shafiq – a senior commander in the Egyptian Air Force and later prime minister for a few weeks – emerged as the main nemesis of Mohamed Morsi – Chairman of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) founded by the Muslim Brotherhood after the revolution – people began to wonder.

Egypt: Egypt election may hinge on court decision | The Eagle

On what was supposed to be the “Friday of Isolating Ahmed Shafiq,” a call to protest the Egyptian presidential candidate who was Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister, the crowd in Tahrir Square could be counted in the hundreds, a sign that despite a week of effort there was still no agreement on how to stop Shafiq between the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi, the other candidate in next week’s presidential runoff, and the mostly secular revolutionaries whose protests toppled Mubarak 15 months ago. The Muslim Brotherhood did not erect the biggest stage in Tahrir Square, as it has previously during demonstrations that drew tens of thousands, and its top officials did not show up to lead chants. Just a few Brotherhood supporters were present, obvious from the green hats they wore bearing the Brotherhood’s slogan, “Islam is the solution.” The crowd was ironically small for Sheikh Mazhar Shahin’s sermon. Last year, the sheikh often preached to hundreds of thousands in the anti-Mubarak protests. “The enemies of the revolution succeeded in shattering our unity into parties and candidates racing for positions,” Shahin said, his familiar voice echoing through Tahrir Square’s emptiness. “There is no option but uniting once again so that our revolution succeeds.” But it was clear that the compromise that revolutionary candidates had hoped to reach with Morsi so that they could endorse him before voting begins in the runoff next Friday would not be happening.

Egypt: Mubarak verdict adds to tension before Egypt vote amid calls for more mass protests | Al-Arabiya

Egyptian activists called for mass demonstrations on Tuesday to protest against verdicts handed down in the strongman’s murder trial. The pro-democracy April 6 movement, the Coalition of Revolution Youth and the Maspero Youth Union among others called for a mass protest at 1500 GMT on Tuesday. Thousands of protesters gathered in Cairo’s iconic al-Tahrir Square late Sunday to protest the acquittals given to nine defendants in the major trial that sent former president Hosni Mubarak and his interior minister Habib al-Adly to jail for life. Demonstrators demanded the formation of a civilian presidential council including defeated candidates Abdul Moniem Abul Fotouh and Hamdeen Sabbahi united under the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, who is running in the elections run-off, Mohammed Mursi, Egypt’s daily al-Masry al-Youm reported. Protesters also called for the retrial of all defendants in the case and called for the Political Isolation Law to be applied to Ahmed Shafiq, who is competing against Mursi in the election run-off on June 16 and 17.

Egypt: Egypt election run-off sparks protests |

The campaign headquarters of one of Egypt’s two presidential hopefuls was stormed by a mob and set alight on Monday night, as thousands protested the results of the first round of the country’s presidential election. The elections committee had earlier in the day confirmed that Ahmed Shafiq, who was named prime minister by ousted president Hosni Mubarak in the dying days of his regime, would face the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi in the second-round run-off. It is a contest between the two most polarising and controversial figures in the race. The committee also said it had rejected appeals against the first round of voting that had alleged a number of violations of election law, including mistakes in counting votes.

Egypt: Electoral commission confirms first round results | Deutsche Welle

Egyptian officials have confirmed that Mohammed Mursi and Ahmed Shafiq will advance to a second round presidential runoff in June. But several other prominent candidates dispute the results of the first round. Egypt’s electoral commission confirmed on Monday that the Muslim Brotherhood will face off against Hosni Mubarak’s final prime minister in the second round of the presidential election scheduled for June 16-17. Electoral commission chief Farouq Sultan told a televised news conference in Cairo that no candidate managed to receive a majority during the two days of voting on May 23-24.

Egypt: Election commission denies Shafiq in first, weighs electoral appeals | Egypt Independent

The secretary general of the Presidential Elections Commission has denied rumors that Ahmed Shafiq garnered the most votes in the first round of the election held last week. “The counting is not yet complete,” Hatem Bagato told the website of the state-run newspaper Al-Ahram on Sunday, saying that the final results would not be announced before considering the five appeals submitted by presidential candidates. On Sunday, the election commission began to review the complaints over the poll, which has left Egyptians with a runoff choice between an Islamist apparatchik, Mohamed Morsy, and throwback candidate from the Hosni Mubarak era, Ahmed Shafiq. Both contenders seek to claim the mantle of the 25 January revolution, and are appealing to the many Egyptians who voted for more centrist figures in the first round.

Egypt: Presidential candidates file appeals to election commission, charging vote fraud | Newser

Three top candidates in Egypt’s presidential race filed appeals to the election commission ahead of the deadline Sunday, alleging violations in the first round vote that they say could change the outcome. The appeals alleging fraud are likely to enflame an already explosive race. Preliminary results from last week’s election placed Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi and Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq, as the two candidates entering a June 16-17 runoff. Thirteen candidates were on the ballot. Shafiq, who placed second after Morsi, said votes cast for him in one province were not included in the ballot count. Many voters reject both front-runners as polarizing extremists. Young, liberal secularists who led the popular rebellion that overthrew longtime leader Hosni Mubarak last year failed to place a candidate in the runoff.

Egypt: Third-place finisher calls for partial vote recount |

The third-place finisher in Egypt’s presidential race called Saturday for a partial vote recount, citing violations, his spokesman said. Early results show that Hamdeen Sabahi came in third by a margin of some 700,000 votes, leaving him out of next month’s run-off between the two leading candidates. Sabahi’s spokesman Hossam Mounis said the campaign has found evidence of many violations during the two days of voting that would affect the final results. He declined to give details about the violations but said appeals would be filed Sunday.

Egypt: Hamdin Sabbahi seeks recount | BBC

The candidate who is said to have come third – missing out on a run-off – in Egypt’s historic election has demanded a recount, citing many “violations”. Hamdin Sabbahi, from the leftist al-Karamah party, said conscripts had voted illegally. Mr Sabbahi missed out on the second round by 700,000 votes, according to unofficial results from state media. Next month’s run-off will be between candidates from the Muslim Brotherhood and the Mubarak-era regime. The Brotherhood candidate, Mohammed Mursi, has a slight lead on former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq, with a reported 25.3% of votes against 24.9%.

Egypt: Rivals claim run-off places | BBC

The Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate for Egyptian president, Mohammed Mursi, is likely to face former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq in a run-off vote, according to partial election results. More than 11,000 out of 13,000 polling stations have declared results, in the first election since strongman Hosni Mubarak was overthrown last year. Early counts put Mr Mursi on about 26% and Mr Shafiq at roughly 24%. Partial results are subject to recounts and final results are due on 29 May. The nationalist Hamdin Sabbahi, a fiery opponent of the Mubarak regime who became the choice of many of those supporting the revolution, appears to be in third place. He has taken a big lead in Alexandria, Egypt’s second city, the city’s electoral authorities have announced. Campaigners for Islamist candidate Mr Mursi, standing for the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, told reporters they were confident that he had won the most votes.

Egypt: Egypt appears set for deeply divisive run-off | CBS News

The Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate and a veteran of ousted leader Hosni Mubarak’s autocratic regime will face each other in a runoff election for Egypt’s president, according to first-round results Friday. The divisive showdown dismayed many Egyptians who fear either one means an end to any democratic gains produced by last year’s uprising. More than a year after protesters demanding democracy toppled Mubarak, the face-off between the Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi and former air force chief and prime minister Ahmed Shafiq looked like a throwback to the days of his regime — a rivalry between a military-rooted strongman promising a firm hand to ensure stability and Islamists vowing to implement religious law. “The worst possible scenario,” said Ahmed Khairy, spokesman for the Free Egyptians Party, one of the secular, liberal parties that emerged last year. Speaking to the Al-Ahram daily, he described Morsi as an “Islamic fascist” and Shafiq as a “military fascist.”