Egypt military junta vows "clean" elections
In the wake of yesterday's deadly clashes that killed 20 people in Cairo during demonstrations against the military junta, the ruling officers on Thursday vowed that the presidential election scheduled for late May will be "100% fair." "The transparency of the election is not in doubt," assured the General Mohammad Al-Assar, member of the ruling military council.
This announcement comes after many concerns were raised following the disqualification of 10 out of the 23 candidates by the electoral commission on the grounds of incomplete applications or irregularities. This criticism was particularly voiced by supporters of Salafist leader, Hazem Abu Ismail, who constituted the majority of protesters attacked Wednesday by assailants in Cairo.
The first round of the presidential elections, since the fall of Hosni Mubarak in February 2011, is scheduled for May 23 and 24, with a second round on June 16 and 17. The military junta has promised to relinquish power to the newly elected president. On Wednesday, the military leadership said it was ready to hand over power on May 24, if the president was elected in the first round. "We do not endorse any candidate," assured general Assar.
Since the departure of Mr. Mubarak, "there have been major changes, there will be no falsification of the will of the people again," he said, referring to the fraud that marked past elections. "Why would the armed forces think to falsify the elections? If we wanted, we would have falsified the (election) law," he said.