Voting resumes in Egypt's presidential poll

Last chance for Egyptians to vote in contest pitting Mubarak-era prime minister against Muslim Brotherhood candidate.

    Voting resumes in Egypt's presidential poll
    More centrist candidates were knocked out in the first round of voting last month [Reuters]

    Voting has resumed in Egypt on the second day of a head-to-head ballot to select the country's first president since the fall of Hosni Mubarak. 

    Polling stations reopened on Sunday amid claims of a low turnout on the first day of run-off voting that pits Mohammed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood's candidate, against Ahmed Shafiq, Hosni Mubarak's former prime minister.

    More centrist candidates were knocked out in the first round of voting last month.

    For some voters, the only solution to the choice between a longtime friend and self-confessed admirer of Mubarak and a religious conservative has been to abstain from casting a ballot altogether.

    "I have spoiled my ballot, and have not voted for either candidate. Because I put myself in the place of a mother who lost her child, whose blood was spilt in Tahrir Square and who has not had justice delivered until this day ... I am not with the remnants of the old regime or with the Muslim Brotherhood, I am independent and follow my own opinion ... I understand how the world works", Souad, who identified himself as a head of department in a ministry, told the Reuters news agency.

    For others, however, boycotting was not a viable option considering what is at stake for the nation.

    "Boycotting the elections is not a practical solution because at this point one of the two candidates will win anyway," Saber Abdullah told The Associated Press news agency.

    Abdullah said he would like to see the nation's future leader do more for Egypt's young people. "I demand the next president to concentrate on helping the youth because the old regime has ignored them to the extent that they have reached rock bottom," Abdullah said.

    Ahmed Fouad, told the Reuters news agency he had cast his ballot for Morsi, the Brotherhood's candidate.

    "So that we have change. We want change. The other candidate belongs to the old regime, he is reminiscent of Mubarak and the 30 years of corruption and everything else. We want change", he said.

    The new president will inherit a struggling economy, deteriorating security and the daunting task of uniting a nation divided after the 18-day uprising that toppled Mubarak last year.

    The weekend's election comes against a backdrop of legal and political chaos, with the Muslim Brotherhood set on a confrontation path with the ruling military after it ordered the Islamist-led parliament dissolved.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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