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Egypt: Ballot confirmation sparks protest

May 28, 2012 at 10:14 PM
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CAIRO, May 28 (UPI) -- Protests broke out in Cairo Monday after elections officials rejected challenges and appeals to the first round of Egypt's presidential elections.

The Presidential Elections Commission said votes have been recounted and a runoff will be held June 16-17, matching Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsy against Ahmed Shafiq, former President Hosni Hosni Mubarak's last prime minister and a former air force commander, in the runoff, the Egypt Independent reported.

Thousands of protesters went to Tahrir Square -- the site of major protests in 2011 that led to the ouster of Mubarak -- after the commission's announcement, CNN reported. They chanted, "Where is the revolution?" while some vandalized Shafiq's campaign office.

With voter turnout at 46.42 percent, Morsy received about 5.76 million votes, or 24.77 percent, to about 5.5 million, or 23.66 percent, for Shafiq, Farouk Sultan, the head of the commission, told reporters.

Sultan said there had been voting irregularities but the commission's recount showed they did not affect the results.

Leftist candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi finished third with 4.82 million votes, or 20.7 percent; moderate Islamist Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh, fourth, with 4.57 million, or 19.98 percent; and former Arab League chief Amr Moussa, last, with 2.59 million or 11.12 percent.

The commission, Sultan said, investigated seven complaints about the voting filed by Shafiq, Sabbahi, Abouel Fotouh and Moussa and rejected all of them. He said they lacked evidence to prove irregularities at polling stations cited by the complaints.

The Independent said Sultan denied reports that 600,000-900,000 soldiers from the police and army -- who are ineligible to vote under the law -- had cast ballots.

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