SEARCH

Entries in Presidential Elections (17)

Tuesday
Jul032012

Mexico’s President-Elect Faces Challenges

Daniel Aguilar/Getty Images(MEXICO CITY) -- Mexico’s Institutional Revolutionary Party is back in power for the first time in 12 years after Sunday’s presidential election, but it wasn’t the landslide that many had predicted.

The party’s candidate and now the president-elect, Enrique Peña Nieto, was declared the winner with 38 percent of the vote -- more than six percentage points ahead of his closest rival, leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador -- but many observers say the lack of a landslide means Peña Nieto has his work cut out for him.

The Institutional Revolutionary Party had been in power for 71 years before it was kicked out amid claims of rampant corruption.  Many voters are wary of Peña Nieto’s ability to carry out his plans for reform, and remain worried about handing power back to the PRI.  In Sunday’s presidential vote, three out of five voters cast ballots for candidates other than Peña Nieto.

Carlos Ramirez, a Mexico analyst for the Eurasia Group, tells the Los Angeles Times that Peña Nieto’s “mandate is clearly weaker than expected.”

Peña Nieto’s party does not have a majority in Mexico’s legislature and will have to negotiate any new reform proposals with Lopez Obrador’s leftist Democratic Revolution Party and outgoing President Felipe Calderon’s National Action Party.  To make matters worse, Obrador has refused to admit defeat and says he will wait until the final results are in and a legal review is performed before conceding.

The U.S. State Department congratulated Peña Nieto Monday on his win and expressed confidence that Mexico and the United States would continue to work together on important issues like the ongoing drug wars.

During his campaign, Peña Nieto expressed a desire to shift the focus of Mexico’s war on drugs away from targeting cartel bosses and stopping drug smugglers heading to the U.S. to instead concentrating on making Mexico’s streets safer for its citizens.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun252012

Muslim Brotherhood's Morsi Wins Egyptian Presidential Election

AFP/GettyImages(CAIRO) -- Egypt's election commission announced on Sunday that the Muslim Brotherhood's candidate, Mohammed Morsi, had won the country's first contested presidential election, making him the first Islamist president in the Arab world.

He defeated ousted President Hosni Mubarak's last prime minister Ahmed Shafiq by a margin of 4 percent, just shy of one million votes.

Tahrir Square, the birthplace of last year's revolution that deposed Mubarak and the site of several large pro-Morsi demonstrations in recent days, exploded with jubilation.  Tens of thousands had gathered to hear the results, which were followed by an ear-splitting cacophony of fireworks, horns and honking that continued for hours after they were released.

In his victory speech Sunday night, Morsi spoke at length about the historic nature of the election and calling for national unity.

"I'm your president, but not without you.  I'm your president, but I'm not the best of you," he said.

Egypt had been a pressure cooker since last weekend's historic election, with both candidates declaring victory and speculation growing that despite a projected win for Morsi, Shafiq would be named the winner.

Fueling the tension, the ruling military council last Sunday released a constitutional declaration that dramatically reduced the power of the next president, a move that followed the dissolution of the freely-elected, Muslim Brotherhood-dominated parliament.

After a long preamble by the head of the Supreme Presidential Election Commission on Sunday, Morsi was declared the winner with 13.3 million votes to Shafiq's 12.3 million.  More than 840,000 ballots were voided.

Morsi was quickly congratulated by Field Marshall Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, who has been ruling Egypt as head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) since Mubark was deposed last March.  Soon after, he received the congratulations of Palestinian militant group Hamas, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The White House also issued a statement, saying it looked forward to working with Morsi "on the basis of mutual respect, to advance the many shared interests between Egypt and the United States."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jun232012

Presidential Poll Results Expected on Sunday in Egypt

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK, N.Y.)-- On Sunday the results of the Egyptian presidential run-off will be announced, the BBC reports. 

Presidential candidates Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq and Mohammed Mursi had both considered appealing because the two have claimed victory and say they will appoint unity governments.

The country has been deeply polarized over this issue. Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood have demanded the outcome of the Presidential results and had a vigil in Tahir Square to condemn Egypt's rulers to seize sweeping powers.

Last week, the military dissolved the Parliament and claimed the power of the Legislature. Activist Wael Ghoneim, who was influential in the January 2011 revolution against Hosni Mubarak, has been providing support for Mursi. Although Shafiq came in second to Mursi in last month's round, he publicly announced that he was the true victor. In addition, opponents of the brotherhood are in dispute of the claim that Mursi won the run-off.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jun192012

Egyptians Unsure If Military Will Cede Power to New President

John Moore/Getty Images(CAIRO) -- Egyptians were hoping for months that the just concluded presidential election would finally provide them with a free and open government.

But now, the situation is more muddled than ever.

Official results of the race between Mohammed Mursi, leader of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, and former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq are not expected until Thursday although Mursi and his party have already proclaimed victory.

The uncertainty may be the least of Egypt's problems as the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, the military council which has been running the country since President Hosni Mubarak's ouster in February 2011, instituted provisional measures just as the voting ended Sunday that many believe amounts to a "soft coup."

As one independent newspaper put it on Monday, "The military hands power to the military."

While generals tried to assure the population on Monday that the new president will have powers, anger is growing that the military won't cede its new authority of controlling legislation, the budget and a new committee to draft the post-Mubarak constitution.

Suspicions were already growing last week of what might be down the road when the council dissolved parliament after declaring illegalities in the voting that gave Islamist lawmakers a third of the body.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun182012

Muslim Brotherhood Claims Victory in Egyptian Presidential Election

Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images(CAIRO) -- With most of the ballots tallied from this weekend’s presidential election in Egypt, Mohammed Morsi, leader of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, declared victory early Monday even as former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq refused to concede.

There’s speculation even as the final votes are counted that the eventual winner will have little say over the military council’s powers, giving it control of legislation, the budget and a new committee to draft the post-Mubarak constitution. The official results will be released on Thursday.

The already-controversial race became more problematic last week when the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces dissolved parliament after declaring illegalities in the voting that gave Islamist lawmakers a third of the body.

Many Egyptians, who’ve waited decades for a truly democratic election and government, now believe the military council is staging a “soft coup.”

On top of that, lack of enthusiasm for the two candidates did not generate a crush of voters at the polls on either Saturday or Sunday.  Saturday was the lighter of the two days because many Egyptians worried their ballots would be tossed out by unscrupulous election officials.

The general feeling was that voters were attempting to pick between the lesser of two evils: a return to the ways of the old government that was overthrown 16 months ago or an Islamist regime that could turn back hard-fought social gains.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jun152012

Call for Protests in Egypt Ahead of Presidential Election

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(CAIRO) -- As Egypt prepares to elect its new president this weekend, liberal activists in Cairo have called for a demonstration Friday evening to protest two rulings made by the country's highest court on Thursday.

One allows former President Hosni Mubarak's last prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq, to run for president against Mohamed Morsi from the Muslim brotherhood.  The other leads to the dissolution of parliament.  The freely-elected body was arguably the biggest democratic achievement since the fall of Mubarak last year.

The court rulings sent shockwaves through Egypt, with many accusing the ruling military council of engineering a judicial coup.

There is also no new constitution, so whoever wins this weekend's run-off presidential election will have undefined -- and potentially unchecked -- powers.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
May292012

Islamist, Mubarak Crony Enter Runoff Election for Egyptian President

Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images(CAIRO) -- With the results released Monday, no one received at least 50 percent of the vote in Egypt's presidential election last week, meaning that Mohamed Mursi and Ahmed Shafiq are the two candidates on the ballot in the runoff to be held on June 16 and 17.

Mursi is the candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamic religious bloc, while Shafiq was a former prime minister under the previous president, Hosni Mubarak, whose three decades of authoritarian rule ended in February 2011 following a revolution that came to be known as the Arab Spring.

This leaves former foreign minister Amr Moussa out of the running.  Pre-election polls expected him to finish in the top two in the first round of voting.

However, Moussa came in fifth, leaving an obvious bitter taste in his mouth.  He vowed on Monday not to support either of the finalists.

According to Moussa, the Muslim Brotherhood is "using religion to mislead Egyptians, who are proving to be more aware."

He also denounced Shafiq's candidacy as a return to the old Mubarak regime, which most Egyptians found unacceptable.

There was some excitement later Monday as Shafiq's campaign headquarters in Cairo was burned down by protesters, bolstering his argument for greater security on the streets.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
May252012

Early Results in Egypt's Presidential Election Points to Run-Off

John Moore/Getty Images(CAIRO) -- Early results in Egypt's first contested presidential election show remarkable leads for two candidates from opposite ends of the spectrum that will likely end up in a run-off between both men.

Just over half of the votes have been counted, and they indicate that Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood is in the lead, with Ahmed Shafiq, a former prime minister under ousted President Hosni Mubarak's rule, in second place.

The two options leave moderate Egyptians, many who participated in and led the revolution, stranded, facing the difficult choice of a hardline Islamist and a Mubarak regime insider.

If no candidate manages to get more than 50 percent of the votes and the preliminary results hold -- the official results won't be announced until Tuesday -- Morsi and Shafiq will face each other in a run-off vote scheduled for June 16 and 17.  Egypt's next president will be formally named four days later.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May242012

Egyptian Presidential Election Moving Along Smoothly

Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images(CAIRO) -- For the most part, things went very smoothly during the first day of Egypt's presidential elections as voters made their picks for the person they want to run their country after Hosni Mubarak's 30 years of authoritarian rule ended with his resignation in February 2011.

Those who didn't get around to casting their ballots will be back on Thursday for round two of the voting.

Amr Moussa, a one-time Arab League chief, and Abdel Moneim Abol Fotouh, a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood, are considered frontrunners in the election.

If no candidate wins more than 50 percent, a runoff vote will be held on June 16 and 17, with Egypt's next president formally named four days later.

Meanwhile, at least one presidential hopeful got an idea Wednesday that he might have a hard time wining after being pelted with rocks and shoes when he went to vote at a Cairo polling station.

Former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq, who served under Mubarak, is a polarizing figure in Egypt, to say the least, with supporters of the old guard behind him.  Many Egyptians blame Shafiq for being partially responsible for the hundreds who lost their lives during the three weeks of demonstrations that led to Mubarak's ouster.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May232012

First Presidential Election Since Mubarak's Ouster Underway in Egypt

John Moore/Getty Images(CAIRO) -- Long lines snaked out of polling stations across Egypt Wednesday morning as Egyptians went to cast their ballots in the country's first presidential election since President Hosni Mubarak was ousted last February. 

The sunny day was reflected in the attitudes of the voters who waited happily and calmly, often for hours, to cast their ballots for the 13 candidates running.

"I think everyone's upbeat, everyone's looking forward to the future," said Mohammed Kamel, the CEO of real estate development firm who was waiting to vote at a school in Giza.  "The country's sort of been on hold for the past 15 months, everyone's looking for stability."

The faces of the candidates stared out from campaign posters lining Cairo's congested streets.  Voters studied registration lists on walls to figure out where to go as soldiers and police kept the lines at polling stations moving as swiftly as they could.  Turnout was expected to top 60 percent among Egypt's 50 million voters.

Polling in the country has been inconsistent and is generally unreliable, but at least four frontrunners have emerged in the race to replace Mubarak and send the military, which has been ruling the country, back to their barracks.  They include Mubarak's former foreign minister, Amr Moussa; a former Muslim Brotherhood official, Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh; Mubarak's last prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq; and the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, Mohammed Morsi.

Many Cairo voters on Wednesday also expressed support for liberal candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi.  If no candidate gets 50 percent in the first round, the top two candidates will face each other in a run-off in mid-June.

Aside from the big question of who will be president, equally pressing are the questions of what his powers will be -- given that a new constitution has not yet been written -- and how prominent the role of the military will be.

But those concerns seemed to take a back seat to the significance of the day as the voters, most reticent to reveal who they were voting for, expressed hope for this new chapter in Egyptian history.

"I'm very happy, I feel freedom," said a female voter.  "Of course I'm optimistic, a new Egypt and a new era."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio