Egyptians vote as protesters demand immediate handover to civilian government; bridge in Indonesia collapses, killing 11; China pursues increased mililtary relations with Myanmar ahead of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit; relations between Pakistan and US further sour; Guyana votes for new government; and more

Top of the Agenda: Egypt Holds Historic Post-Mubarak Vote

Long lines of voters turned out across Egypt to cast their ballots in the country's first parliamentary election since the fall of Hosni Mubarak (NYT). The historic vote comes as a revitalized protest movement has clashed with the ruling military council in recent days, demanding an immediate handover to a civilian government.

The governing Supreme Council of Armed Forces has rejected protester calls to cede its leadership in the near term, saying it would follow through on its road map for transferring authority (al-Jazeera). The military never set a precise date for handing over power to civilian administration, only pledging that presidential elections would be held before the end of June 2012.

Analysts expect the new parliament to have strong Islamist representation led by the Muslim Brotherhood (BBC). Forty-one protesters have been killed and more than two thousand have been wounded in violence leading up to the election.

Analysis

Egypt's military appeared to be pursuing a divide-and-rule approach to defuse mass protests ahead of today's planned polls, but this may backfire, says CFR's Steven A. Cook.

With fresh political violence erupting ahead of elections, Shibley Telhami points to new polling data showing Egyptians are concerned that the military is attempting to undo the gains of the revolution.

This Backgrounder notes the divide in views over whether the Muslim Brotherhood will choose a path of moderation or extremism.

 

PACIFIC RIM

Investigation into Borneo Bridge Collapse

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has ordered an investigation into the collapse of the Mahakam II Bridge (al-Jazeera) in Borneo on Saturday. The cause of the tragedy, which killed at least eleven people, was not immediately clear.

CHINA: Beijing proposed increased military relations with Myanmar (Reuters) just days ahead of a scheduled visit from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In recent weeks, Chinese officials have claimed the U.S. diplomatic push in the Asia-Pacific region is an attempt to encircle China.

CFR's Josh Kurlantzick discusses the improving U.S-Myanmar relations, and suggests the Obama administration watch several markers to see that reform in the country is continuing.

 

ELSEWHERE:

Relations between Pakistan and US sour

Guyana votes for new government

 

This is an excerpt of the CFR.org Daily News Brief. The full version is available on CFR.org.

 

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