Update: Elections commission announces Morsy as Egypt’s president

At the end of a lengthy press conference on Sunday afternoon, Mohamed Morsy was declared winner of the presidential elections with 13,230,131 votes, or 51.73 percent. Ahmed Shafiq won 12,347,380 votes, or 48.27 percent.

Before announcing Egypt's first president after the 25 January uprising, Farouk Sultan, head of the Presidential Elections Commission, defended himself against constant criticism of the commission's work.

"I speak to you at the end of this important period in the history of building our nascent democracy … to announce the first president of the second republic," Sultan began. "I hoped that the results would be announced in a festive atmosphere but not all hopes are realized. The day of harvest is here in an atmosphere of tension and blame, and that’s a true reflection of the atmosphere in which the commission has performed its work in the last four months."
He complained of the many difficulties the commission faced, including "multiple smear campaigns by political forces, which led to an atmosphere of doubt and put the PEC on the defensive all the time.”
He said many forces used the media to reject the PEC's decisions, when they could have resorted to legal channels.
According to Sultan, the number of citizens who voted dropped in the runoff to 50,958,794 from 50,996,746 in the first round on 2 and 3 June. This was due to deaths, among other factors.
He said that after the runoff, held on 16 and 17 June, the PEC received 456 appeals from the two candidates, and heard the candidates' defense for six hours.
He said the commission looked into these appeals over three days, and recounted the ballots at some polling stations, which changed the results at some.
There were two main serious appeals, Sultan said, that could have doomed the elections.
The first was the falsifying of about a million ballots in favor of one of the two candidates by one print house.
The second was preventing Christians entering polling stations especially in Minya, upper Egypt.
In the case of the printing house, 2,154 ballots were marked before they got to the polling stations.
In the second appeal, the PEC could not identify who was behind the barring of Christian voters from the village of Deir Abou Henies, but it checked voter turnout in nearby polling stations in the first round of elections: it was 2,437, while the runoff witnessed 2,464 voters, so the PEC rejected the appeal.
Sultan went on citing all appeals and explaining how they affected the results.
Thousand of votes for Both Shafiq and Morsy were cancelled.
Egypt's streets were deserted as Egyptians were glued to TV sets to listen to the press conference.

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