CAIRO - Egyptians began voting on Saturday in a run-off presidential election that offers them a stark choice between a conservative Islamist and a former top military officer who was the last prime minister of ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

It is a novelty for ordinary Egyptians, who are choosing their leader for the first time in a history that stretches back to the pharaohs. Polling stations opened to 50 million eligible voters for the first of two days of voting at 8 a.m. (0600 GMT), television reported. They close at 8 p.m. (1800 GMT).

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