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Hillary Clinton praises Egyptian election

May 25, 2012 at 12:48 PM
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WASHINGTON, May 25 (UPI) -- Washington pledges to work with the democratic leadership in Egypt and stands by its people during the political evolution, the U.S. secretary of state said.

Vote counting is under way in Egypt following a two-day presidential election this week, the country's first since a revolution in 2011 unseated longtime President Hosni Mubarak after three decades in power.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the first round of voting was a historic milestone in Egypt's transition to democracy.

"We look forward to working with Egypt's democratically elected government," she said in a statement. "We will continue to stand with the Egyptian people as they work to seize the promise of last year's uprising and build a democracy that reflects their values and traditions, respects universal human rights, and meets their aspirations for dignity and a better life."

There were few reports of irregularities or violence during the two days of voting. The Muslim Brotherhood, a leading Islamic political group in the country, said it has determined Mohamed Morsi, its candidate from the Freedom and Justice Party, and Ahmed Shafiq were among the leaders in preliminary results.

Shafiq was named prime minister Jan. 29, 2011, but resigned roughly 30 days later in the aftermath of the revolution.

The Egyptian election committee reported about half of eligible voters turned out to cast ballots. A second round of voting begins over a two-day period starting June 16.

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