World Bulletin / News Desk
Polls opened on Tuesday for a second day of voting in Egypt's presidential elections, the first since the military ouster of president Mohamed Morsi, the country's first freely elected president, last year.
The winner of the polls will take over from interim president Adly Mansour, who was installed by the army following Morsi's July 3 ouster and subsequent imprisonment.
In a bid to encourage voters to cast their ballots, the Egyptian government had declared Tuesday an official holiday.
Speaking to the Egyptian television shortly after polls closed at 9pm (local time) on the first day of the ballot on Monday, Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab said that the move aimed "to allow all Egyptians to cast their ballot".
The vote is the second step in an army-imposed roadmap for Egypt's post-Morsi transition.
The roadmap, which included a constitutional referendum in January, will conclude with parliamentary elections later this year.
Five international organizations and 79 local ones have been authorized by the electoral commission to observe the voting process.
In addition to nongovernmental monitors, envoys from the Arab League; the European Union; the African Union; the Common Market for East and South Africa will follow up the vote.
Around 300,000 police and army personnel have been deployed to secure the process nationwide.
Sabahi's campaign claims 'violations' in Egypt vote
The campaign of Egyptian presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabah on Monday claimed "violations" on the first day of voting in Egypt's poll.
"These violations are reminiscent of the Mubarak regime," campaign spokesman Maasoum Marzouk told a press conference in Cairo, referring to the regime of autocrat Hosni Mubarak who was ousted in a 2011 uprising.
He said that some pro-Sabahi activists have been arrested or harassed while observing Monday's vote.
Marzouk said supporters of rival contender Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, who led the army to unseat elected president Mohamed Morsi last July, were allowed to campaign outside polling stations.
The spokesman, however, ruled out Sabahi's withdrawal from the election over the alleged violations.
"There is not decision to withdraw from the race right now," Marzouk told Anadolu Agency. "But if the violations persisted, we might consider another position."
Marzouk's allegations could not be verified.
Observers expect al-Sisi to dominate the polls, especially after he secured an overwhelming 95.4 percent of the vote in expatriate polling last week, according to results announced by Egypt's electoral commission.
Presidential election constitutes the second phase of an army-imposed transitional roadmap unveiled by al-Sisi following Morsi's ouster. The first step of the plan was completed in January with the approval of a new constitution via public referendum.
Parliamentary poll, the final milestone of the roadmap, is expected sometime this year after the presidential vote.
Presidential poll results will be officially announced on June 5.Last Mod: 27 Mayıs 2014, 09:46