Egypt awaits election results
Cairo (CNN) — Initial results of Egypt’s first parliamentary elections since the fall of President Hosni Mubarak are due as early as Thursday.
Both the Muslim Brotherhood and the Al Noor Salafi Muslim Party have claimed a lead in ballot counting, but election officials have been tight-lipped.
Voting took place Monday and Tuesday, the first in a multi-step process to pick members of the lower house of parliament.
The lawmakers will then be tasked with drafting a new constitution.
It was the first time some Egyptians — young and old — ever cast ballots after three decades of Mubarak’s rule.
Some voters and human rights activists expressed hope that their votes will actually count, though some boycotted the elections saying they don’t trust the voting will be free and fair.
There were reports of some illegal campaigning taking place, with the Egyptian Association of Human Rights alleging some cases of vote-buying in the city of Alexandria.
Elections for Egypt’s lower house of parliament are scheduled to take place in three stages, based on geography. The last of the three stages is set to take place in January.
Upper house elections will run between January and March.
Presidential elections will be held by June, according to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, Egypt’s acting ruling body. Military leaders have said they will hand over power to a new government when one is elected, but many Egyptians say they don’t trust the council and fear the military will cling to power.
During the past two weeks, at least 42 people have been killed in clashes, as protesters called for an immediate end to military rule. An additional 3,250 have been wounded, according to the Health Ministry.