Vote counting begins in FJP's key poll for party presidency
Osman El Sharnoubi, Friday 19 Oct 2012
Polling stations close doors following Freedom and Justice Party's internal elections, in which Muslim Brotherhood veterans Essam El-Erian and Saad El-Katatni vie for leadership of Egypt's leading party


Egypt's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) held internal elections to select a new party president on Friday, with polling stations closing their doors at 3pm. Two of the party's leading figures – acting Chairman Essam El-Erian and Secretary-General Saad El-Katatni – are both vying for the position.

Results are expected to be announced later today.

El-Katatni's campaign slogan is "a strong party to build Egypt," while El-Erian's slogan is "a free nation, a strong party and good governance."

The FJP is the political arm of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, the largest political group in the post-Mubarak era. The party was established in May 2011, shortly after the Tahrir Square uprising that led to Mubarak's ouster.

The FJP's first president was Mohamed Morsi, who resigned from the post after being elected president of Egypt in June.

"The party's internal elections reflect the development of democracy in Egypt," Hussein Ibrahim, head of the FJP's electoral committee, said shortly before polling began.

According to party bylaws, only the FJP General Assembly's 1,117 members were allowed to cast ballots for the party president. The FJP, however, currently boasts over 400,000 members.

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