Egyptian authorities have said they will not be able to announce the winner of the country's presidential elections on time. Meanwhile, there was also uncertainty about the state of Hosni Mubarak's health.
Egypt's election committee said Wednesday that it might not be able to announce the winner of the country's presidential runoff on Thursday, and provided no alternative date, because it was still investigating appeals from the two candidates, who have both claimed victory.
"The committee has decided to continue to examine the appeals, which involves looking at records and logs related to the electoral process, and this will necessitate more time before announcing the final results," said Committee Secretary-General Hatem Bagato in a statement.
Egyptians had voted over the weekend for a president to succeed Hosni Mubarak, who was ousted during the Arab Spring rebellion that swept across the country last year. The vote was between Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood and Ahmed Shafiq, Mubarak's former prime minister.
The current limbo period following the vote could further stoke tensions in a country where there is uncertainty about the future role of the military in governing the country.
Confusion over Mubarak's health
Meanwhile, the state news agency MENA claimed that Mubarak had been pronounced clinically dead by doctors after suffering a stroke on Tuesday. But this was contradicted by military and security forces who told Reuters news agency that Mubarak was still alive and on a respirator.
"Any talk of him being clinically dead is nonsense," said General Said Abbas, a member of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).
Mubarak has had heart problems since he was forced from office in February 2011, after an 18-day uprising against him. He was convicted for complicity in the killing of around 800 protesters during the uprising and sentenced to life in prison on June 2.
sej/slk (AP,AFP, Reuters)