Egyptians back at the polls to pick president

By REUTERS
May 24, 2012 09:42

CAIRO - Egypt resumed its first free presidential election on Thursday after a first day of voting that passed off mostly calmly, apart from a stone-throwing attack on candidate Ahmed Shafiq, who was premier for a few days before Hosni Mubarak fell.

The race broadly pits Islamist candidates against secular ones like Shafiq and Amr Moussa, the former Arab League chief who previously served as Mubarak's foreign minister.

Turnout on Wednesday seemed lower than in an earlier parliamentary vote when Islamists swept up most seats. Long queues and a scorching sun deterred some voters and many government workers will have delayed voting to Thursday, when they have a day off.

"I came yesterday and found it very crowded so I came today," said Khaled Abdou, a 25-year-old engineer. "I must participate in choosing the president and I hope this leads to stability and the change needed."

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