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Egyptian Election Announcement Postponed
June 21, 2012

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Egypt still has no President, despite two rounds of elections.

Both candidates, the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi and former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq, declared victory immediately after the polls closed, and an independent panel that observed the voting process has backed up Morsi's claim. But even though all of the votes have been counted, they might not all be legitimate.

The Election Commission has delayed announcing a winner in the presidential runoff election until the weekend, in order to investigate allegations of fraud. Representatives of both candidates have charged the other camp with irregularities, including already-filled-out ballots and forged names on voter lists. Complaints numbered in the hundreds, and the Election Commission to follow up every one.

Turnout in the second round of elections was markedly lower than the first and than for parliamentary elections in January. No matter who the winner eventually is, he will find himself with much weaker powers than his predecessor, since the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces announced last week that they would be assuming much of the traditional presidential powers until a new constitution and parliament are in place. The ruling generals have already dissolved Parliament and vowed to appoint all 100 members of the panel that will be charged with crafting the new constitution.

In anticipation of either a victory party or a mass protest, thousands of people gathered anew in Cairo's Tahrir Square, home to so much of the revolution and celebration that ended in the abdication of Hosni Mubarak as president 16 months ago. Many more around the country remained cautious, awaiting further announcements, protests, or incidents.

Mubarak, meanwhile, remained in a military hospital in Cairo. Conflicting reports on the health of the former president continued to surface. At one point, he was declared clinically dead, after suffering a stroke. Another report had him listed in critical condition. Only a few weeks ago, he was sentenced to life in prison for complicity in the killing of unarmed civilians.



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