Egypt Prepares to Choose Mubarak Successor (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Gabe Kahn 05/21/12)
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Egypt´s presidential candidates ended their bids for election on
Monday as the world´s most populous Arab country prepares to head to
According to electoral rules laid down by the Supreme Presidential
Election Commission, the dozen candidates cannot give any media
interviews or make public appearances until polls close on Thursday.
The election, which will take two days, is being hailed as a landmark
following the February 2011 ouster of long-time president Hosni
The front-runners are former foreign minister and Arab League chief
Amr Mussa, Mubarak´s last premier Ahmed Shafiq, and the Muslim
Brotherhood´s Mohammed Mursi and independent Islamist Abdel Moneim
A run-off will be held on June 16-17 if no candidate secures enough
votes for victory.
Some 50 million eligible voters are being called to cast their
ballots, as a massive security plan is under way.
Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim said security forces would deploy
at polling stations around the country, particularly at the 351
centres where ballot papers will be taken for the count.
Just moments before the deadline for the "campaign silence," the
powerful Muslim Brotherhood´s candidate Mursi warned on Sunday
against any attempt to tamper with the presidential poll, at a rally
attended by thousands of supporters.
Sketchy opinion polls taken by a government-funded think-tank and the
cabinet´s research division show Mursi trailing behind Abul Fotouh,
Mussa and Shafiq.
Some observers have suggested Mursi´s final campaign pronouncements
may signal that the powerful Muslim Brotherhood, which is presently
the largest parliamentary faction, may contest the elections no
matter what if he loses.
The Brotherhood, backed by the ultra-conservative Salafi al-Nour
party, controls Egyptís parliament.
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces - which took charge of Egypt
as an interim junta after Mubarak´s ouster - pledged a fair election,
and has promised to hand power to civilian rule once a new leader is
The military, headed by Mubarak´s longtime defense minister Field
Marshal Hussein Tantawi, said it was committed to leading the country
towards democratization, touting its ability to maintain a relative
stability compared with other "Arab Spring" countries like Syria or
The power transfer will seal the end of a turbulent transition period
marked by violent and sometimes deadly protests and a deteriorating
economy. It will also mean a key requirement for the release of
billions of dollars in US aid to Egypt is met. (IsraelNationalNews ©
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