Egypt's military takes credit for election turnout
CAIRO (AP) -- Egypt's military rulers are taking credit for the strong turnout in the country's parliamentary elections -- the first since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak.
The vote, which took place today and yesterday, appeared to be the most free and fair election in living memory in Egypt.
The military didn't field candidates. But carrying out an election that is successful and virtually free of any fraud would give the ruling generals a stronger hand in their struggle with protesters calling for them to immediately turn over power to a civilian authority.
Even before the voting began, protesters were accusing the military of trying to cling to power and protect its interests under any future government.
Now, they are warning that the ruling council will try to use the success of the election to tighten its grip on power.
Already, the Cairo square that was at the center of the protests is quieter, with as many vendors there today as there were protesters.
But die-hard protesters weren't ready to admit defeat. One man said going ahead with the election was an insult to the 43 protesters killed in last week's deadly clashes with police.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)