News / Middle East

Islamist Candidate Likely to Face Former PM in Egypt Runoff

Egyptians look at newspapers displayed at a kiosk outside the Al-Fatah Mosque in Cairo, May 25, 2012.Egyptians look at newspapers displayed at a kiosk outside the Al-Fatah Mosque in Cairo, May 25, 2012.
x
Egyptians look at newspapers displayed at a kiosk outside the Al-Fatah Mosque in Cairo, May 25, 2012.
Egyptians look at newspapers displayed at a kiosk outside the Al-Fatah Mosque in Cairo, May 25, 2012.
VOA News
Egypt's presidential race appeared headed on Friday to a decisive and polarizing runoff between the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate and another with strong ties to former President Hosni Mubarak’s regime.

Preliminary counts from Egypt's first free presidential race show the Brotherhood's Mohammed Morsi in the lead and former prime minister and secularist Ahmed Shafiq a strong second.

The runoff, to be held on June 16-17, would offer Egyptians a stark choice between candidates from divergent paths.

Morsi was not his Islamist group's first choice for its presidential candidate. But he got the job when the Brotherhood's lead candidate was disqualified and then became a front runner in a show of the group's political muscle.

During the campaign, Morsi delivered fiery speeches and vowed his presidency would be based on Islam but not be a theocracy.

Shafiq was Mubarak's last prime minister before he lost power in last year's pro-democracy protests.

The former Air Force commander was appointed prime minister in hopes of appeasing the popular revolt. But because of that connection to Mr. Mubarak, he is viewed with some suspicion by activists involved in the 2011 movement and polarized voters.  

Final results will not be announced until Tuesday.

A victory for one of the secularist candidates would mark a significant turn from parliamentary elections just six months ago when more than 70 percent of voters cast ballots for Islamist parties.

With some key pockets of voting remaining to be counted, independent candidate Hamdeen Sabahi also appears to have fared well and could gain on Shafiq. He rose steadily in opinion polls over the past week, attracting voters who wanted neither an Islamist or a former regime figure.

Some of the other 12 candidates who fared well include Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, a moderate Islamist supported by some liberals, leftists and minority Christians, and former foreign minister Amr Moussa, a secularist who served under Mr. Mubarak  

VOA correspondent Elizabeth Arrott says voters are generally pleased with how election officials have handled the ballot-counting.

"In the polling stations themselves, they appear to be going through by hand and this has been one of the key things. Everybody has been very glad that they are doing it that way, By having observers watching them be counted in polling station by polling station, it's much, much harder to commit fraud on any large level."

Whoever wins faces massive challenges. Egypt's economy has collapsed as the key tourism industry dried up, crime has increased and labor strikes have proliferated.


Some information for this report was provided by AP.

You May Like

ASEAN Ministers to Push for S. China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

Puerto Rico Defaults on $58M Debt Payment

Payment was due Saturday, default is first in country's 117 years as a United States possession More

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Cha Cha Cohen
May 26, 2012 12:27 PM
Egyptians should not vote ex P.M. he is only acting as a hypocrit!Egyptians has suffered for a long time in the hand of the ex-regime!! They should use their head for their better future!!!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs