The campaign team of Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Mursi claimed
Saturday that he had won 69 percent of the vote after the first-day of a
two-day run-off election to determine Egypt's first freely-elected
president in the country's history, Egyptian daily Al-Ahram reported.
is facing Ahmed Shafiq, who served as former Egyptian president Hosni
Mubarak's prime minister in the final days of his rule.
from a court order two days ago to dissolve a new parliament dominated
by the Muslim Brotherhood, many question whether generals who pushed
aside fellow officer Mubarak last year to appease the pro-democracy
protests of the Arab Spring will honor a vow to relinquish power by July
1 to whoever wins.
"Both are useless but we must choose one of
them unfortunately," said Hassan el-Shafie, 33, in Mansoura, north of
Cairo, exasperated like many who picked centrists in last month's first
round and now face a choice between two extremes.
With neither a
parliament nor a new constitution in place to define the president's
powers, the outcome from Saturday and Sunday's run-off will still leave
82 million Egyptians, foreign investors and allies in the United States
and Europe unsure about what kind of state the most populous Arab nation
Both contenders may herald further turbulence. An
Islamist president will face a mistrustful army, while a victory by a
Mubarak-era general will rile the revolutionaries on the street.
result may emerge within hours of polls closing on Sunday. Turnout in
the first round last month was only 46 percent. An election official
said Saturday's voting had been steady.
fear the Brotherhood will not accept a defeat quietly and a Shafiq win
could touch off new unrest on the streets, forcing the army to take
sides to impose order and further unsettle a heavyweight state at the
heart of a troubled region.
The Brotherhood has warned of
"dangerous days" and said a Shafiq win could wipe out the gains of the
revolt. It listed poll violations, including conscripts voting although
they are barred. Election officials said any such violators were
Reflecting its suspicions, one Brotherhood official said
many of the group's supporters would vote on Sunday to avoid any
tampering with ballot boxes overnight.
gave guarded approval of the first round vote last month and Egyptian
groups listed a range of mostly only minor violations on Saturday.