With Mubarak's health in question, both candidates declare victory in Egypt elections
Political turmoil is rising in Egypt as a formal announcement of the winner of Egypt's presidential election may be delayed. Both candidates claim victory and allege election fraud.
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There have been more complaints about last weekend's presidential runoff than any election since the ouster of Mubarak. But foreign and local monitors say the violations they observed were not serious or large-scale enough to question the legality of the process.Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures Turmoil in Egypt
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The Shafiq camp says that the former air force commander — who was Mubarak's last prime minister — won with 51.5 percent of the vote. The campaign of Islamist Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood says he got 52 percent to defeat Shafiq with 48 percent.
Security officials said several employees of the state press, where election ballots were printed, were being questioned by prosecutors over allegations that thousands of the ballots were marked in favor of Morsi before they were sent to polling centers. Already, three heads of polling centers in different parts of the country have been arrested for questioning about alleged vote rigging.
Rumors of fraud grew so strong that on Wednesday night, the deputy head of the Muslim Brotherhood, Khairat el-Shater, appeared on television to debunk reports that he had been arrested.
"There are attempts to spoil the political scene and delay the birth of a good regime," said el-Shater, who was the Brotherhood's original candidate for the presidency until he was disqualified from running by a Mubarak-era conviction, forcing the group to run Morsi in his place.
"There is an attempt to recreate Mubarak's regime ... through a fierce campaign of black rumors all across the country," he said. "There are rumors related to elections' results, to arrests, illness and martial laws." Morsi, he underlined, "is the first president elected by the people."
Tens of thousands of Islamists from the Brotherhood and its allies staged a protest in central Cairo on Tuesday night to denounce the dissolution of parliament and the military's arrogation of increased powers. But the rally was equally a show of strength to push back against Shafiq's claim of victory. The protesters chanted in support of Morsi and touted his portraits.
Already, the Brotherhood has warned that a win by Shafiq, widely seen as an extension of the Mubarak regime, could only the result of fraud and that it would send its supporters out on the streets.
Mubarak's transfer out of prison overnight could also stir up anger among opponents of the regime, who have long suspected that he is getting preferential treatment by the ruling generals led by Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, the former president's defense minister for 20 years. Mubarak was kept out of prison for the entire time since his arrest last year in April and until June 2 when he was taken to Torah.
Mubarak's wife Suzanne was by his side in the Nile-side military hospital in Maadi, a suburb just south of Cairo, where he was transferred. The security officials said a team of 15 doctors, including heart, blood and brain specialists, was supervising the condition of Mubarak. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
Mubarak was convicted of failing to prevent the killing of some 900 protesters during the 18-day uprising that forced him out of office. He and his two sons, onetime heir apparent Gamal and wealthy businessman Alaa, were acquitted of corruption charges. But the two sons are held in Torah awaiting trial on charges of insider trading.
The two were by their father's side at the Torah prison hospital, but the officials said prison authorities refused their request to accompany him to the Maadi military hospital.