Egyptian premier urges calm ahead of presidential vote

Egyptian premier urges calm ahead of presidential vote

Egyptian Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzouri on Tuesday called for calm during tomorrow's presidential election and urged political parties to accept the result of the poll, dpa reported.

"I hope the elections will proceed with calm," he said in a statement. "I call on all sides to unite to ensure the success of the electoral process and to accept the decision of the majority of Egyptians who will express their will through the ballot boxes."

Around 50 million eligible voters will head to the polls on Wednesday for the two-day vote to elected a president - the first democratic presidential vote since a popular uprising forced Hosny Mubarak to step down last year.

His plea comes after several political groups vowed to stage mass protests and return to Tahrir Square if one of two presidential candidates associated with the Mubarak regime wins the elections.

The frontrunners are Ahmed Shafiq, Mubarak's last premier, Amr Moussa, a former foreign minister and Arab League chief. Other candidates include the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi, independent Islamist Abdul-Moneim Abul-Fotouh and leftist Hamdeen Sabahy.

Thirteen contenders are competing. If no candidate secures an outright majority in the first round, there will be a run-off between the top two candidates on June 16 and 17.

The ruling military council has pledged it would hand over power to an elected civilian administration by June 30.

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