Egypt Elections are dawn of a new era, candidate says

Nov 28, 2011, 11:27 by R.E. Christian

The first round of parliamentary elections in Egypt represents the dawn of a new era for the country, a presidential candidate said.

Long lines were reported Monday in Egypt as voters turned out to choose 148 of the 498 officials who will lead the country's lower house of Parliament. Voting during the first round lasts for two days.

The vote Monday follows more than a week of demonstrations in the country. At least 41 people were killed in the latest political violence. However, Amr Moussa, former secretary-general of the Arab League and presidential contender, said the Monday vote marked a milestone for the country.

"This is the beginning of a new era in Egypt, democracy in action," he was quoted by al-Jazeera as saying. "Not in theory, but in action."

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces last week appointed Kamal al-Ganzouri as caretaker prime minister following a mass resignation in response to the political unrest. Deputy Defense Minister Maj. Gen. Mukhtar al-Mulla told al-Arabiya that Ganzouri would led the country until presidential elections in June.

SCAF faced criticism because it promised elections as early as July 2011, six months after the revolution unseated Hosni Mubarak. SCAF blamed "foreign hands" for the latest round of violence.

More than 50 political parties and groups took part in the elections.

Source: UPI