|Who will Mohamed Mursi (left) face in the June runoff?|
With counting underway after two days of voting in Egypt’s first free and transparent presidential elections, Egyptian media superstar and talk show host Imad Adeeb is in no doubt: “None of the 13 candidates will win an outright majority.”
He expects a June 16-17 runoff between the top two candidates to pit the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Mursi against one of four other frontrunners.
His likely challenger in the runoff will either be moderate Islamist Abdelmoneim Abulfotouh, or one of three liberals -- ex-premier Ahmed Shafiq, former Arab League chief Amr Moussa or leftist Hamdeen Sabahi.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s election campaign headquarters announced at a press conference the results they have so far show Mursi facing Shafiq in about three weeks’ time.
At this writing, results aggregated by Ahram Online in 15 different governorates show a total of 11,088,494 voters cast their ballots in these governorates as follows:
Mursi 2,696,652 (24.03 per cent)
Sabahi 2,581,190 (23.3 per cent)
Shafiq 2,555,730 (23.03 per cent)
Abulfotouh 2,012,019 (18.1 per cent)
Moussa 1,542,831 (11.2 per cent)
Official results are not due to be announced for days, but it looks likely voters will have a good idea of the top runner and his challenger by tomorrow, Saturday.
Adeeb, in his column for today’s edition of Saudi Asharq Alawsat, writes, “The question now is who will Mursi’s challenger be?
“So far, there are no clear indications. What we can say though is that the Coptic vote went to Shafiq. Women voters were divided between Mursi and Abulfotouh on the one hand and Shafiq and Moussa, on the other.
“It can also be said most businessmen voted for either Shafiq or Moussa. Merchants chose between Mursi and Shafiq. Youths were deeply split in choosing between Islamist and pro-revolution currents…
“As for the turnout, it will range between a minimum of 50 percent and a maximum of 60 percent.”
The Muslim Brotherhood’s Mursi, who is 61 and seems certain to be in the June 16-17 runoff, received a scholarship from the University of Southern California for academic excellence in engineering in the early 1980s and earned a Masters Degree and PhD in rocket science in 1982.
His profile on Ahram Online shows he served as a professor at California State University in North Ridge between 1982 and 1985.
On completing his overseas academic endeavors, Mursi headed the engineering department at Zagazig University in Egypt between 1985 and 2010.
He was the official spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood’s parliamentary bloc from 2000 to 2005.