Egyptians Vote in Historic Presidential Election

Posted June 17th, 2012 at 2:40 pm (UTC-5)
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Egyptian voters are at the polls on the final day of a presidential runoff after massive protests led to former leader Hosni Mubarak's resignation last year.

Officials extended the polling deadline Sunday by two hours . Turnout was mixed in the first day of voting Saturday, and the mood appeared less enthusiastic than it was during last month's first-round.

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

Some voters shared with VOA Sunday their disillusionment about the stark differences between the two contenders, as the first round eliminated centrist candidates.

Other 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 as Egypt's first freely elected president is set for Thursday, but unofficial results are expected earlier in the week.

The official MENA news agency said parliament received notice of the constitutional court decree 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.