Polls open in Egypt
Queues at polling stations before dawn, in the first round of elections which will last two days. Overnight explosion targets pipeline that supplies Israel and Jordan. Tug of war over appointment of the Prime Minister chosen by Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.
Cairo (AsiaNews / Agencies) – Polling stations have opened throughout Egypt for the first elections after the Mubarak era. Meanwhile overnight masked men armed with explosives blew up a section of the pipeline that supplies Israel and Jordan, in an area west of the city of El-Arish in the northern peninsula of Sinai. It is the ninth bombing since the pipeline was inaugurated.
Before dawn queues had already begun to form at polling stations in the capital, for a vote that will last for two days and will have several stages. But the protesters who still occupy Tahrir Square are asking for the vote to be postponed. Yesterday the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) issued a statement announcing that the country is "at a crossroads." "Either we succeed politically, economically and socially, or the consequences will be extremely serious and we can not allow it," said Marshal Hussein Tantawi. Tantawi has also called on presidential candidates, Moahammed el-Baradeiand Amr Moussa, to give their backing to the appointment of Kamal Ganzouri, 78, as Prime Minister.
El Baradei main support base are the demonstrators in Tahrir Square, where in recent days there have been incidents of violent repression by security forces, which resulted in 41 dead and hundreds injured. El Baradei said he was ready to give up his presidential ambitions to head a government of national emergency, provided "that the government is equipped with all the prerogatives to manage the transitional period, restore security, boost the economy and achieve the objectives of Egyptian Revolution", announced the former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Yesterday, the Muslim Brotherhood has put an option on the future government, stating that "it is presumed that the future Parliament represents the people (...) the Military Council should instruct the party that wins the most votes to form the next government. "