Egyptians Choose Mubarak’s Successor

Posted June 16th, 2012 at 7:00 pm (UTC-5)
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Egyptian voters go to the polls Sunday in the second day of presidential run-off to choose the country's next president after massive protests led to former leader Hosni Mubarak's resignation last year.

The voters have a choice between a Mubarak era candidate, former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq and an Islamist, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi.

Voter turnout was mixed in Saturday's first day of polling and the mood appeared less joyful than it was during last month's first-round.

VOA Middle East correspondent Elizabeth Arrott says voters may be disillusioned by the stark differences between the two contenders.

“There are the two candidates, Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood and Ahmed Shafiq, the last prime minister of the old regime — kind of a polarizing choice which I think is a lot less joyful than what people had the first time around when you had 13 candidates and it all seemed so wide open.”

Some voters also expressed disappointment with the lack of progress in the country, 16 months after the uprising. Egypt still does not have a constitution, which would define presidential powers and on Thursday, the Supreme Constitutional Court ruled to dissolve the country's current Islamist-led parliament.

The announcement of the winner in the presidential election is set for Thursday, but unofficial results are expected earlier in the week.

The official MENA news agency said parliament received notice of the decree on Saturday and that lawmakers will be barred from entering parliament, except with permission.

Some leading Islamists contend the court ruling justified what amounts to a de facto coup by the ruling military council.