Egypt's election commission confirmed Monday that Muslim Brotherhood's candidate Mohamed Morsi will face former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq in the June 16 runoff to choose Egypt's first freely elected president.
The candidacies of Morsi and Shafiq in next month's run-off was confirmed after the election commission announced the final results of last week's first round of Egypt's first freely contested presidential election.
The run-off election set for next month was forced after none of the 13 presidential aspirants managed to secure the required 50 percent votes for an outright victory in the first round of polls. International observers have said that the first round was largely peaceful.
"No candidate won an outright majority, so according to Article 40 of the presidential election law, there will be a run-off between Mursi and Shafiq," Farouq Sultan, the electoral commission chief, announced Monday.
According to the final results of the first round, Morsi came in first place with 5.76 million votes or 24.3%. He was closely followed by Shafiq, who secured 5.5 million votes or 23.3%. Hamdeen Sabbahi, the independent Nasserist, came in third with 4.82 million votes or 20.4%.
Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh, an independent Islamist, was in fourth place with about 4 million votes or 17.2%, while former Arab League chief Amr Moussa came in fifth with 2.5 million votes or 10.9%. The remaining votes were shared by the rest of the candidates.
Although two of the defeated candidates cited violations in the voting and counting process and demanded a recount, the election commission has rejected their demands. Nevertheless, the commission admitted there were some "shortcomings", but insisted that they had not affected the result.
Soon after the results were announced, protest rallies were staged in several Egyptian cities and towns, mainly over the candidacy of Ahmed Shafiq in the first round of polls as well as in the forthcoming run-off elections.
Although the election commission had earlier disqualified Shafik under a new enactment that barred senior officials of the Mubarak regime from running for office, it later lifted the ban on appeal. The commission also referred the legislation to the Supreme Constitutional Court, which is yet to rule on the issue.
The developments come over a year after former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was forced to step down from office in February 2011, following mass protests across the country against his 30-year rule. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), which came to power after Mubarak's exit, had promised hand over power to the newly elected President on July 1, but many are skeptic about its sincerity.
by RTT Staff Writer
For comments and feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org