Egyptians choose Mubarak successor

2012-05-23 07:50

kalahari.com

  • Hosni Mubarak
    The challenges and obstacles Hosni Mubarak's presidency has endured Now R572.00
    buy now
Cairo - Egyptians take to the polls on Wednesday in a historic presidential election contested by Islamists and secularists promising radically different futures for the country.

The election is the final phase of a tumultuous transition overseen by the ruling military council after a popular uprising ousted long-time president Hosni Mubarak last year.

After decades of pre-determined results, for the first time, the outcome of the vote in the Arab world's most populous nation - which also pits revolutionaries against old regime members - is wide open.

The next president will inherit a struggling economy, deteriorating security and the challenge of uniting a nation divided by the uprising and its sometimes deadly aftermath, but his powers are yet to be defined by a new constitution.

Among the 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.

The election caps a rollercoaster transition, marked by political upheaval and bloodshed, but which also witnessed democratic parliamentary elections that saw Islamist groups score a crushing victory.

On Tuesday, ballot boxes were being distributed to the 13 000 polling stations around the country, which will open at 08:00. Voting will take place over two days.

Transparency and security

Candidates have been campaigning across the country for weeks in an unprecedented democratic exercise made possible by the early 2011 revolt.

A ban on campaign-related activities, laid down by the Supreme Presidential Election Commission for 48 hours before the vote, did little to dim excitement in the capital, as an army vehicle rumbled through Tahrir Square - the epicentre of protests that toppled Mubarak - urging Egyptians to vote.

"Rise, Egyptian; Egypt is calling you," the soldier shouted through a loudspeaker, borrowing the lyrics from a popular nationalist song by iconic composer Sayyed Darwish.

The ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), in power since Mubarak's ouster, repeated its earlier calls for Egyptians to turn out en masse to the polls, while warning against any "violation".

"The participation of citizens in the presidential election is the best guarantee of the transparency and security of the electoral process," Mohammed al-Assar, a member of the SCAF, was quoted as saying by state news agency MENA.

"We will not allow any violation or [attempt] to influence the electoral process or the voters," he added, saying that any person who broke the law would be treated "firmly and decisively".

The SCAF has vowed to hand power to civilian rule by the end of June, after a president is elected, but many fear its retreat will be just an illusion.

Radically different trends


The army, with its vast and opaque economic power, wants to keep its budget a secret by remaining exempt from parliamentary scrutiny, maintain control of military-related legislation and secure immunity from prosecution.

Mubarak, 84 and ailing, may watch the election from a military hospital on the outskirts of Cairo as he awaits the verdict of his murder trial on 02 June.

The former strongman is accused of involvement in the killing of some 850 protesters during the uprising and of corruption.

According to pollsters, the large number of voters undecided between candidates reflecting radically different trends and the novelty of a free presidential vote make Wednesday's election almost impossible to call.

NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport
 

Watch: 5 skills to improve your BMX riding

Learn some great skills that will help your riding on the road and on the track.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Tips on how to set your fitness goals
This all-terrain vehicle is badass!
The TRUTH about painkillers and exercise
WIN! Where were you when you last felt alive?

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a strong social and romantic overtone that plays its way into your day. It may get stronger later in the day when the...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.