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First phase of Egypt polls over, counting begins

The results are expected to be announced for individual candidates today and the political lists after the final phase of election is over in February next year.

world Updated: Nov 30, 2011 11:00 IST

After the final voters cast their votes in the first elections after the Egyptian revolution, counting has begun late Tuesday night. The results are expected to be announced for individual candidates today and the political lists after the final phase of election is over in February next year.

The counting of votes was being televised by the state television for the first time.

So far, the Freedom and Justice Party of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafi Nur Party seem to be leading.

Some analysts are expecting matters in the country to settle down especially after the stock exchange market elevated by 5.5%.

Others do not think so. "Anything is possible now," stresses Jamal Zahran, professor of political sciences at Port Sa'id University.

"The first phase of elections passed smoothly but this does not mean the operation is over, far from that. The Islamists might reach power and the SCAF will then have to interfere to cancel the elections instead of facing the same incident in Algiers as the early 90s. Anything is possible."

There have hardly been any reports of security breaches to the extent that some people called the recent security lax was a political decision to scare people.

An hour before the voting polls closed, there were reports about a judge being held hostage by thugs in Cairo.

The military police was quick to contain the situation.

Despite unexpected high turnout, some people chose not to vote believing the entire process of elections is a charade to divert attention from the greed of the military for power.

Ahmad Attiya is one of the people who camped out in Tahrir square for the 18 days which ended with Mubarak stepping down.

"I could not vote," he said with tears in his eyes. "I would be betraying all the people who died in that square since January."

"I boycott the elections because I do not trust the SCAF (Supreme Council of Armed Forces). I will not be part of this farce," Yousra Al-Masri wrote in her FaceBook status.

A few thousands have succeeded in reinstating a sit-in in Tahrir calling on the SCAF to step down.

Meanwhile, clashes erupted in Tahrir square again but this time between protestors and street vendors.