Egyptians vote for post-Mubarak president in historic poll
Cairo (Alshahid)-After weeks of fevered debate, speculation and argument, Egyptians went to the polls on Wednesday in the Arab world’s first competitive presidential election, choosing between a dozen
The contest is a novelty for a nation where elections during the 30-year rule of a man some called “Pharaoh” were thinly attended rigmaroles in which the result was a foregone conclusion.
More than 50 million eligible voters have been called to choose one of 12 candidates wrestling to succeed ousted president Hosni Mubarak.
Voting over two days is taking place at 13,000 polling stations, with initial results expected on Sunday.
Among the leading contenders is former foreign minister and Arab League chief Amr Mussa, who is seen as an experienced politician and diplomat but like Ahmed Shafiq, Mubarak’s last prime minister, is accused of belonging to the old regime.
The powerful Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate Mohammed Mursi faces competition from Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh, a former member of the Islamist movement who portrays himself as a consensus choice with a wide range of support.
Since the fall of Mr. Mubarak, the military has continued to play a dominant role in steering the transition.
Egypt’s future is also being closely watched outside the country, particularly in the West and in Israel, in case Islamists make further gains that could jeopardize Cairo’s peace treaty with Israel, a cornerstone of Washington’s regional policy.