Few signs of foul play in Egyptian vote

May 24, 2012 at 1:34 PM
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CAIRO, May 24 (UPI) -- An Egyptian election committee chairman said there were few problems reported during the first day of voting in a presidential election.

Egyptians lined up in droves Wednesday to vote in their first-ever democratic election for president, some 15 months after longtime President Hosni Mubarak was ousted in a popular uprising. Voting takes place over two days.

Hatem Bagato, secretary-general of the Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission, said there were few problems reported during the Wednesday voting, Egyptian news service al-Ahram reports.

He dismissed claims that some legal authorities overseeing the polling stations had interfered with the vote.

"Egyptian judges are the ones who oversaw parliamentary polling under Mubarak, which resulted in opposition parties winning seats in the assembly," he said. "I doubt these judges will forsake their responsibilities now."

Meanwhile, presidential candidate Amr Moussa, a former foreign minister and one-time secretary-general of the Arab League, called on his opponent Ahmed Shafiq to pull out of the race for claiming Moussa abandoned his candidacy.

"I am calling on Ahmed's Shafiq's campaign to stop spreading rumors and insults about other presidential candidates; he should withdraw from the race," he told al-Arabiya.

There are no clear front-runners in the race, suggesting the vote is heading for a second round scheduled in June.

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