Egyptians vote in two-day presidential runoff | News | DW | 16.06.2012
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Egyptians vote in two-day presidential runoff

Egyptians started voting on Saturday in a two-day runoff poll for the country's president. The choice is between the prime minister under ousted president Mubarak and a candidate from the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood.

Egyptians have started voting on Saturday in a runoff election to choose a successor to former President Hosni Mubarak. Over 13,000 polling stations opened to 50 million eligible voters across the country on Saturday and will close on Sunday.

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Voting gets underway in Egypt

The vote pits military general Ahmed Shafiq, who was prime minister under Hosni Mubarak, and conservative Islamist Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Mursi. The two made it through to the run-off after winning nearly 50 percent of last month's first round poll between them. Shafiq was the runner-up in the first round, polling 23.6 percent to Mursi's 24.7 percent.

The Islamist Muslim Brotherhood was the most powerful single faction in Egypt's recently-elected parliament - but the country's Supreme Court on Thursday ordered that parliament be dissolved.

The move throws the country into further political turmoil. Fractious politicians have also so far failed to agree on a new constitution, which was meant to be completed before the presidential vote.

Ratings agency Fitch downgraded both Egypt's debt and currency ratings in response to the dissolution of parliament.

Public pressure forced Mubarak's departure from office in February last year during what became known as the Arab Spring. On June 2 this year he was sentenced to life in prison for his role in the killing of protestors.

sb/mz (AFP, AP, Reuters, dpa)

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