Egypt to pick Islamist or military man as president

by
May 25, 2012

By Marwa Awad and Edmund Blair, Reuters

The Muslim Brotherhood said on Friday its candidate in Egypt’s first free presidential vote would fight a run-off next month with ex-air force chief Ahmed Shafiq, the last prime minister of deposed leader Hosni Mubarak.

This week’s first-round vote has polarized Egyptians between those determined to avoid handing the presidency back to a man from Mubarak’s era and those fearing an Islamist monopoly of ruling institutions. The run-off will be held on June 16 and 17.

The election marks a crucial step in a messy and often bloody transition to democracy, overseen by a military council that has pledged to hand power to a new president by July 1.

The second round threatens further turbulence. Opponents of Shafiq have vowed to take to the streets if he is elected.

But to supporters, Shafiq’s military background offers reassurance that he can restore security, a major demand of the population 15 months after Mubarak’s ouster.

A victory for the Brotherhood’s Mohamed Mursi could worsen tensions between resurgent Islamists and the powerful army, which sees itself as the guardian of the state.

To read more, visit:  http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/25/us-egypt-election-idUSBRE84M0A920120525

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