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'Low Turnout' in Egypt

In first day of second round of elections, voter turnout is lower than in the first day of the first round.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 6/16/2012, 11:20 PM

Voter has finger inked after casting ballot.
Voter has finger inked after casting ballot.
Reuters

Voter turnout in the first day of the second round of the presidential elections in Egypt was low, compared to the first day of the first round.

In this final round, only two candidates remain in the race: the secular Ahmed Shafiq, and the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi.

The ruling military council officially dissolved the Egyptian parliament as of Saturday night, following a Constitutional Court ruling to that effect on Thursday. The Muslim Brotherhood demands a plebiscite regarding the decision to dissolve parliament.

Meanwhile, Hamas denies it planted agents in Cairo to encourage rioting in protest of the decisions of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF). According to IDF Radio, a spokesman for the pro-genocide terror group said that Hamas was "stupefied" by the false allegations, as he called them, and wonders what their source is. "The security of Egypt is the security of Palestine in the face of the common enemy, which is the Zionist occupier," the spokesman added.

U.S. State Department Victoria Nuland said Saturday that Washington is "troubled" by the court's decision to dissolve parliament but respects the independence of Egypt’s judiciary.

"We are continuing to monitor the situation in Egypt," she told reporters. "We’re looking closely at the decisions that were made yesterday and their full implications. Our sense of this is it’s not exactly clear to Egyptians themselves what the path forward is. But if in fact the conclusion is that there need to be new parliamentary elections, our hope is that they could happen swiftly and that they reflect the will of the Egyptian people."

Regarding the presidential elections, Nuland said the U.S. is "hoping and expecting that these will be free, fair, transparent, that the monitors and witnesses who the Egyptian Government have invited in will be able to be present throughout the country and will be able to give reassurance to the Egyptian people about the outcome."

She added: "The SCAF has pledged to step down, turn over power to the elected leader on July 1st, and we expect them to meet that commitment to the Egyptian people."

The SCAF has announced that it will convene an assembly of 100 citizens to write a new draft of the constitution by next Friday. Shafiq voiced pleasure with the decision, and Morsi said it should be respected.