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Egypt: Mounting tension ahead of presidential election run-off

Egypt: Mounting tension ahead of presidential election run-off
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Thousands of people have joined a demonstration in Egypt’s second city, Alexandria, to condemn a court ruling which allows Hosni Mubarak’s former prime minister to run for president.

Ahmed Shafiq is going up against the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi in a highly charged run-off this weekend.

“I hope that Morsi will win the election, even if there are some who don’t like him. But he is the one who will bring a successful, new revolution which will overthrow the military council,” one demonstrator said.

Mubarak-appointed judges have also dissolved the Islamist-dominated parliament. A senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood described the court decisions as a “full-fledged coup.”

With Shafiq in the running to be president, the stage is set for the military and remnants of the old regime to keep a grip on power.

Some voters do not want him or Morsi to get the top job and are threatening to boycott the election run-off altogether.

“I think it’s going to be like a big war in the country. A lot of people think the same,” one woman said.

Many voters see the election as reproducing the same battle lines that have dominated Egypt’s stale politics for years. The pitting of a man who, like every president for six decades, comes from the military, against their perrenial antagonist – the Muslim Brotherhood.

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