Egypt on alert as election result imminent

By REUTERS
June 24, 2012 15:46

 
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CAIRO - Egypt's ruling armed forces were on alert on Sunday as fears of violence mounted in the final hours before the state election committee is to name the winner of last weekend's presidential election at 3 p.m. (1300 GMT).

Mohamed Morsy of the long-oppressed Muslim Brotherhood has already claimed to be the successor to the ousted Hosni Mubarak. Millions of his Islamist loyalists may react with fury if the run-off goes to Ahmed Shafik, a former general and Mubarak ally.

Few troops were on the streets but security officials said they were ready to respond to trouble. Government workers around Cairo's Tahrir Square, where thousands of Muslim Brotherhood supporters had gathered, were encouraged to go home for the day.

Armored vehicles were posted in the capital at the election committee headquarters and the government information office where a news conference will end an anxious week of waiting.

The result will be historic for the Middle East, but will not end power struggles between the army, Islamists and others over Egypt's future.

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