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Presidency poll a watershed in Egypt's march towards democracy: SCAF

Only days before hotly-contested presidential runoff, ruling military council calls looming vote 'first step towards ensuring justice, freedom, dignity for Egyptians'

Ahram Online , Tuesday 12 Jun 2012
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The ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) on Tuesday described Egypt's ongoing presidential elections as the "second crossing" in the country's march towards democracy, in a reference to the Egyptian Army's historic crossing of the Suez canal during the 1973 war with Israel.

"The next president – whoever he may be – will reflect the true choice of the Egyptian people and will be expected to fulfil their dreams and aspirations," the SCAF declared on its official Facebook page.   

Only days before the final presidential runoff vote, the ruling military council clarified that Egypt's ongoing democratic transition was a "first step towards ensuring justice, freedom and dignity for all Egyptians."

That being said, Egypt's political stage has been dogged by turbulence and uncertainty in the run-up to this week's fateful vote. For example, on Thursday – only two days before polling – Egypt's High Constitutional Court is set to decide two controversial court cases: one involving a Political Disenfranchisement Law and another involving a Parliamentary Elections Law.   

The first law, if declared constitutional, would bar Mubarak-era officials – including presidential finalist Ahmed Shafiq – from holding high state positions.

The SCAF statement went on to say that the two presidential contenders, Shafiq and the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi, had both promoted their respective political programmes, "in which their visions and hopes for the country’s future are guaranteed."

"Egyptians will not allow themselves to be betrayed or misled, and will not settle for anything less than quick progress towards the next stage of Egypt’s bright future," the statement added. 

It went on: "Despite the efforts of many sceptics who question our actions and aim to shake confidence in our great institution, we believe in the elections and will guarantee the transparency and fairness of the electoral process."

Directing its message to Egypt's next president, the SCAF went on to state: "The people have chosen you to fulfil their dreams and aspirations; if the people don't believe in you, you will face great challenges."      

The military council further stated that, if any citizen failed to abide by the law during elections, they could expect the speedy enforcement of the law to ensure that the popular will is carried out.

The statement also stressed that the SCAF and interior ministry would supervise the electoral process, with the assistance of Egypt's judiciary.

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