Election Results Delayed As Egypt Crisis Deepens
June 21, 2012
Egypt's election commission has delayed declaring a winner in the country's presidential election, amid rising tensions over who will succeed ousted president Hosni Mubarak.
Both candidates in last week's run-off -- Muhammad Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood and Ahmed Shafik, Mubarak's last prime minister -- have claimed victory.
The final results had been expected on June 20, but the election commission said it wanted to review hundreds of allegations of election fraud.
There was added confusion over the health of jailed former President Mubarak, who is serving a life sentence for the deaths of protesters in last year's uprising that ousted him from power. Latest reports say Mubarak, 84, is in a coma.
Muslim Brotherhood supporters have been camping out in Cairo's Tahrir Square to protest what they say could be an extension of Mubarak's rule if Shafik is declared president.
The Muslim Brotherhood claims Morsi won 52 percent of the vote. Shafik says he won 51.5 percent.
There have been allegations from opponents of Egypt's ruling military council that news of Mubarak's failing health could be used as a distraction while tensions rise over the long-awaited election results.
The Brotherhood says it has allegedly been targeted by a concerted campaign to deprive it of power.
Last week, the ruling military council dissolved the newly elected parliament -- dominated by members of the Brotherhood -- after a court ruling declared last year's parliamentary election unconstitutional.
The military also gave itself veto power over the drafting of a new constitution.
In Washington, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton maintained that Egypt's military authorities must cede power to the victor in the country's presidential election.
"We think that it is imperative that the military fulfill its promise to the Egyptian people to turn power over to the legitimate winner," she said. "We don't know yet who's going to be named the winner of the election but we think that the military has to proceed with its commitments to do so."
Thousands of Brotherhood supporters and others gathered in Tahrir Square on June 19 to protest the generals' power grabs.
The Brotherhood has said the protests will continue until the election results are announced and the military give up their sweeping powers.
With reporting by AFP, AP, dpa, and the BBC
Copyright (c) 2012. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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