11/29/2011, 00.00
EGYPT
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Elections: few incidents, many women at polling stations

Second day of elections in nine governorates. In Alexandria the great turnout of women at the polls. Few incidents recorded especially in front of female electoral centres. Muslim Brotherhood give, oil, meat and sugar to those who vote. Tahrir Square demonstrations continue.
Cairo (AsiaNews) - In Cairo, Alexandria and other governorates 9 the second day of voting for the lower house of parliament opens. Yesterday the turnout at the polls was higher than expected with queues several hundreds of meters long, especially in the most popular districts of the city. In Alexandria in many seats more women voted than men, according to some a sign of the desire for participation in the construction of the new Egypt.

Despite the peaceful environment, sources tell AsiaNews of arguments and attempts to influence the vote by the Muslim Brotherhood. Most incidents occurred in women’s polling stations, where women dressed in the nijab invited others to vote for the Islamist formation. In Cairo's most populated areas members of radical Muslim parties distributed packages with sugar, salt, oil, engraved with the program and the candidate to vote to people in line. This had already occurred during the referendum on the March 19constitution.

The first election results predict a voctory for the Muslim Brotherhood, with 35% of the votes. However AsiaNews sources underscore the growth of the democratic movement born with the Jasmine revolution that could raise more than 20% of the vote. This would give rise to a strong opposition, which could counteract the growing power of Islamist formations.

Fr. Greich Rafiq, spokesman for the Egyptian Catholic Church says that "for now you can only make assessments on hypothetical future winners. This is the first election and just about 17 million Egyptians out of a total of 52 million eligible voters, who will vote on December 14 and January 3. "

Meanwhile, the demonstrations continue in Tahrir Square against the elections, the Supreme Council of the military accused of trying to influence the vote and the new government of former regime member Kamal al-Ganzouri, is considered by many as a puppet in the hands of the military. According to the young people the elections are a tactic to appease the spirits, to make people believe that the country is quiet under the protective wing of the army and especially to take advantage of ignorance of the complicated voting system. "

Laila, a young demonstrator says: "Why vote for a parliament that can not withdraw confidence from the government in case of need? The military council is looking for an excuse to stay in power." For Ibrahim Adel, a young Muslim leader, these votes are invalid because the Supreme Council is illegitimate, no one has chosen it. "Tantawi - he says - gave the order to slaughter the Copts in Maspero and now he will create a rift between the people and army, and should leave. We the young people of Tahrir Square will not give in, patience is our weapon."

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