Early unofficial results from Egypt's landmark presidential election on Wednesday indicate a landslide win for President Hosni Mubarak. But one of the main opposition candidates is complaining of fraud and says he wants a revote.
Opposition candidate Ayman Nour says he plans to file a formal challenge to the election, citing what he says are widespread irregularities. He wants the entire poll to be run again.
Independent monitors say there were many problems on voting day, including voter intimidation by supporters of the ruling party, vote buying, abuse of government resources by the ruling party, and cases of outright fraud.
Questions about the election emerged before the final results were even announced. Early informal returns reported in the state press indicated a landslide victory for President Mubarak, which had been widely predicted, reports Voice of America.
New York times quoted Frank G. Wisner, a veteran U.S. diplomat and ambassador to Egypt from 1986-91, saying that the first-ever multi-candidate presidential election in Egypt marked "an historic day" for that country. Though President Hosni Mubarak will be reelected to another term in office, "it is nonetheless a major development first and foremost for Egyptians and the emerging political class, which will draw many lessons from this day," he said.
"A page was turned. A first important step was taken," says Wisner, vice chairman for external affairs at American International Group. "There will be many steps in the future. How Egypt manages those steps this first one having been taken responsibly by the president and opposition (will determine) what happens next. That's really going to matter a great deal to us."