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Announcement of election result delayed in Egypt

Protesters in Egypt's Tahrir Square are suspicious of official statements regarding the health of ousted leader Hosni Mubarak. An electoral commission has said it will not announce the result of Egypt's presidential election until Thursday. NBC's Richard Engel reports.


Egypt's elections authorities say they will delay announcing who won Egypt's presidential election but have not given a new date.

The Supreme Elections Commission said in a statement Wednesday that results won't be announced on Thursday as scheduled because the commission is looking into complaints presented by rival candidates.

A panel of judges must examine some 400 complaints over voting submitted by both Ahmed Shafiq, ousted leader Hosni Mubarak's prime minister, and the campaign of Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi.

Amid reports that Hosni Mubarak is clinically dead, the Muslim Brotherhood thinks it won the Egypt elections and now wants full power. But the campaign of Ahmed Shafiq, ousted President Mubarak's old prime minister, said he really won the elections. NBC's Richard Engel reports.

"We cannot announce when exactly the timing of the announcement of the election results will be because now we are at the stage of listening to the representatives," Committee Secretary-General Hatem Bagato told Reuters.

Egypt's Hosni Mubarak reportedly clinging to life in military hospital

"The committee will meet afterwards to decide on whether to accept the appeals or not. After that there will be a time set to announce the final result," Bagato added, speaking by phone.

He issued an official statement later in the day with more detail.

"The committee has decided to continue to examine the appeals, which involves looking at records and logs related to the electoral process, and this will necessitate more time before announcing the final results," the statement said.

The instability in Egypt poses a dilemma for the United States. NBC's Andrea Mitchell reports.

Any lengthy delay in disclosing the results risks prolonging uncertainty and stoking tension at a time when it is unclear how big a role the military will continue to play in leading the country. No official figures have been announced, but candidates had representatives at polling stations and were able to make their own tallies.

"We must give both sides all the time they need to ensure that the process is fair and prevent any claims later on that not enough time was given to both sides," Bagato explained.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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