Final round of presidential election today and tomorrow
The final round of the presidential election in Egypt will take place today and tomorrow.
Around 50 million voters will be entitled to vote for one of two candidates remaining after the first round of voting on 23rd and 24th May. They will be voting at 13,101 polling stations across the country with polling stations opening at 8 a.m. and reportedly long queues forming early in the day.
The final phase of the election pits the Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Mursi, who received 5,764,952 votes in the first round against Mubarak’s last Prime Minister, Ahmed Shafiq, who received 5,505,327 votes.
The political drama in Egypt continues with some voters planning to stay away from the poll because of the choice between an Islamist and a member of the former regime, as they see it. Most political analysts are finding it difficult to analyse how the votes of the other ten candidates from the first round will vote. The result is expected to be close.
In other news, on Friday the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) ordered the dissolution of the People’s Assembly following the ruling by the Supreme Constitutional Council the previous day. Fresh parliamentary elections will have to be scheduled and the constitutional council is unlikely to proceed with its work of putting together a draft constitution. That in turn means that the new president will, in effect, have no clear picture as to his executive powers.
Elsewhere, the Fitch ratings agency has downgraded the long term currency rating of Egypt from BB- to B+ with a negative outlook because of the political uncertainty. In better news for Egypt, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has indicated their willingness to enter into new negotiations when the elections are completed.