SCAF impartial in Egypt's vote, chief says

Dec. 14, 2011 at 1:28 PM
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CAIRO, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- The commander of the military police in Egypt said Wednesday the ruling military council wasn't taking sides during the latest round of voting.

The Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party is expected to lead other Islamist parties in Egyptian parliamentary elections. The Muslim Brotherhood secured 20 percent of the seats in the Egyptian Parliament by running as independent candidates in 2005.

Maj. Gen. Hamdi Badin, commander of the Egyptian military police, was quoted by the Egypt Independent newspaper as saying the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces was impartial regarding post-revolution political developments.

"It is not in the interests of the army to side with the liberals, the Muslim Brotherhood or the leftists," he said.

There are more than 3,000 candidates competing for the 180 seats in Wednesday's election. Turnout was expected to be high. Scuffles broke out among rival political parties in Giza, the newspaper reported, resulting in the closure of some polling stations. Five people suffered gunshot wounds.

As many as 19 million people were expected to vote in all nine provinces. Badin said there were some preliminary reports of election violations but they were fewer than during the first round of voting in November.

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