Brotherhood’s Mursi leads in Egypt’s expat runoff vote


Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Mursi leads the race for Egypt’s presidency in the second round of elections among oversee voters due to massive support from Egyptians living in Gulf countries, initial results showed on Sunday.

An estimated 310,000 of Egyptians living abroad voted in the landmark election's second round, according to a foreign ministry statement. The Egyptian expat community in Saudi Arabia alone accounted for almost half of the voters, with more than 150,000, followed by Kuwait with 54,530, and the UAE with 33,000.

While front-runner and former prime minister Ahmad Shafiq was reported to be in the lead among voters in some Western countries, such as Austria, Greece, New Zealand and the United States, the Islamist candidate, Mursi, was reported to be winning among Gulf voters who account for more than 88 percent of the total number of expat voters.

In the first round of the presidential elections, Mursi was ahead of 12 contenders with 106,252 votes in 33 countries.

The two candidates have continued to lash out at each other in the presidential campaign.

Shafiq on Saturday accused Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood of seeking to “damage the electoral process” by using mosques to spread “lies” against him and his campaign. Shafiq previously attacked the Brotherhood saying the group will take Egypt back to the “dark ages” if they win the presidency.

The Brotherhood, meanwhile, have said that Mursi’s candidacy represents a struggle against the remnants of the old regime of ousted leader Hosni Mubarak, who seek to return to power if Shafiq wins. The Islamist group often refers to Shafiq as “the candidate of the remnants.”

Islamists, along with many liberal revolutionary forces, accuse Shafiq of also having played a role in the notorious Feb. 2, 2011 ‘Battle of the Camel’ that left several people dead and hundreds wounded.

Several lawyers on Sunday requested that Shafiq be added to the list of suspects in the incident, which took place when he was serving as Mubarak’s prime minister.

Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court is set to hear appeals on the Political Exclusion Law and the Parliamentary Elections Law on June 14. Court decisions could disqualify Shafiq from the presidential race.

(Written by Mustapha Ajbaili)