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Egypt: election second round updates (LIVE BLOG)

After big win in 1st round of Egypt election, Islamist parties aim for a repeat.

GLOBALPOST EGYPT LIVE BLOG: ROUND TWO

UPDATE: 12/14/11 12:20 PM ET / 7:20 PM CAIRO

 

Polls in Egypt are now closed for the day.  Voting in the second stage of Egypt's parliamentary election will resume tomorrow.  

Please visit the Casbah for any new developments about the vote today.  

UPDATE: 12/14/11 11:56 AM ET / 6:56 PM CAIRO

 

Voters are scrambling to get inside their polling stations - 'lagna' in Arabic - before the election ends for the day.

Just a few minutes to go: 

 

UPDATE: 12/14/11 11:26 AM ET / 6:26 PM CAIRO

 

Are Egyptians voting in this election because they don't have the money to do otherwise?

Ahram Online reports that eligible voters who don't submit ballots at polling stations (unless they have a "valid excuse") will be fined 500 Egyptian pounds (roughly $85).

That certainly might explain the high voter turnout:

 

[Pic via Ahmed Gamal El Dieb]

UPDATE: 12/14/11 11:07 AM ET / 6:07 PM CAIRO

 

Egyptian voters seemed excited to head to the polls on Wednesday and Thursday, but Daily News Egypt reminds readers that the upcoming holidays will still be gloomy given the state of country's battered post-uprising economy.  

Even the newly-appointed prime minister could barely contain his emotions at a recent press conference.

More from GlobalPost: Egypt: The price of revolution

UPDATE: 12/14/11 10:49 AM ET / 5:49 PM CAIRO

 

Anne Patterson, the U.S. ambassador to Egypt, told reporters on Wednesday that Egypt's parliamentary elections have so far been “highly successful.”

Ahram Online reports:

“I want to congratulate the Egyptian people for the highly successful parliamentary elections,” Patterson told reporters after visiting one of the polling stations in the Dokki district of Giza.

“Although there were minor violations in the first round, the process was smooth and transparent.

“There are many American observers who are following the elections; they said it went very well. Two stages are remaining, we will see what happens.”

“The US will deal with any party chosen by the Egyptian people. Democracy is all about the will of people,” she said in response to questions about how her country plans to deal with Islamist early victories in Egypt's polls.

UPDATE: 12/14/11 10:37 AM ET / 5:37 PM CAIRO

 

Sunset over Cairo, Egypt on Wednesday, via Nick Rowlands:

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After a relatively quiet day at the polls, some Egyptians started wondering if the calm would last:

 

UPDATE: 12/14/11 10:20 AM ET / 5:20 PM CAIRO

 

A 30-minute gunfight broke out in a Giza playground on Wednesday, according to Al-Masry Al-Youm.  The fight was reportedly between supporters of two rival parliamentary candidates:  

Security forces closed the Khaled Ibn al-Waleed School polling station in southern Giza for two hours after an armed fight broke out between two families supporting different candidates. The families exchanged gunfire in the school playground for half an hour, according to authorities.

No one was injured or killed, said Wael al-Shorbagui, the judge overseeing the electoral committee where the fight took place.

UPDATE: 12/14/11 10:13 AM ET / 5:13 PM CAIRO

 

BBC interviewed several Egyptian voters on-camera on Wednesday.  "It's a good feeling," said one. 

UPDATE: 12/14/11 9:59 AM ET / 4:59 PM CAIRO

 

Proud Egyptian voters have taken to the Twittersphere to display their 'election ink' for the world to see:

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/egypt/111213/egypt-election-second-round-voting-updates-live-blog