Egyptians Flock to the Polls
Posted on May 23, 2012
Voters in Egypt turned out in droves on Wednesday to cast their ballots in the first free presidential election since President Hosni Mubarak was ousted from power during the Arab Spring uprising 15 months ago.
Roughly 50 million people are eligible to vote in the landmark election, which concludes Thursday. —TEB
The military council which assumed presidential power in February 2011 has promised a fair vote and civilian rule.
The election pits Islamists against secularists, and revolutionaries against Mubarak-era ministers.
But the BBC’s Wyre Davies, in the second city of Alexandria, says that for many people the election is not about religious dogma or party politics, but about who can put food on the table.
The frontrunners are:
Ahmed Shafiq, a former commander of the air force and briefly prime minister during February 2011 protests
Amr Moussa, who has served as foreign minister and head of the Arab League
Mohammed Mursi, who heads Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party
Abdul Moneim Aboul Fotouh, an independent Islamist candidate
Until a new constitution is approved it is unclear what powers the president will have, prompting fears of friction with a military which seems determined to retain its powerful position.
Two women show their inked fingers after voting in Cairo on Wednesday.