28 May 2012Egypt’s presidential election frontrunners were vying for deals with rival candidates yesterday in a bid to appease a polarized nation that will choose between an Islamist and a Mubarak-era minister in a June runoff.
Final votes were still being counted, but unofficial results suggested that the top two candidates were the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi and Ahmed Shafiq, a former premier under ousted president Hosni Mubarak. Middle ground votes were up for grabs, with both candidates since May 26 shuttling between meetings with different political forces, as they compete for the mantle of the revolution that ousted longtime president Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
The Brotherhood called a meeting of various candidates on May 26 afternoon, but the campaigns of Abdel-Moneim Abolfotoh, former foreign minister Amr Moussa and Nasserist candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi said the three would not attend.
According to a tally by the Islamist group, Morsi had won 25.3 percent of the vote and Shafiq 24 percent, with Sabbahi at 22 percent.Sabbahi said he would refuse any offer to become vice president, and told Agence France-Presse he would file a complaint over electoral irregularities that may affect the result of the first round. Morsi reassured secularists and the country’s Coptic Christian community. “As president, I will be the president for all Egyptians. (My relationship) with the Brotherhood will be the same as all Egyptians,” he said. Shafiq also called for broad support from former rivals, calling on his competitors by name to join him and promising there would be no return to the old regime.