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CAIRO - Egypt on Thursday night wrapped up the first presidential election since Hosni Mubarak was ousted last year.
Polling stations generally closed at 9:00 pm (1900 GMT) Thursday after the Higher Presidential Election Commission (HPEC) decided to extend one hour, with some electoral centers remaining open till the last voter in long queues finished their voting.
Electoral coordinators count votes at a school used as a polling station in Cairo, May 24, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]
Egypt's Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzouri announced Thursday as an official holiday to enable governmental employees to cast their ballots.
According to HPEC's chief Farouk Sultan, vote counting immediately begins after closing the stations, while head of each station will tell the candidates' delegates, who are waiting in the station, how many votes each candidate obtains.
Sultan said at a press conference that candidates have the right to appeal on decisions of the general election committee only before the HPEC.
"The election committee abides by the amendments of political right law," added Sultan.
Sultan noted that violations were limited during past two days of voting, and that the electoral process was highly organized with a great turnout.
Health Ministry declared two dead and 12 injuries on the second day of the presidential election. Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim said security forces had reported only "minor violations."
Sultan announced early Thursday that around 50 percent of eligible voters participated in the polling, official MENA news agency reported.
The voters were divided over 12 candidates with Islamic or liberal trends. To win the election requires a candidate to win over 50 percent of the votes.
HPEC said on its official website that results of the first round of voting are expected on May 29, but due to fierce competition, it is unlikely to have an outright winner in the first round. A run-off will be held in mid-June.