Egyptians are voting for the second day in the country’s first free presidential elections – 15 months after Hosni Mubarak was ousted. Queues were reported at some polling stations, and media reports said turnout was higher than on Wednesday. The election pits Islamists against secularists, and revolutionaries against Mubarak-era ministers. The military council which assumed presidential power in February 2011 has promised a fair vote and civilian rule. On Wednesday, there were large queues in many places, and voting passed off calmly for the most part. However, protesters in Cairo threw shoes and stones at a convoy of candidate Ahmed Shafiq, who was Mr Mubarak’s last prime minister. The long lines outside polling stations that we visited in central Cairo yesterday have now disappeared. “It’s because we’re much more organised than yesterday,” said a judge in Garden City. He says turnout here has already reached 50% and he is bracing himself for a rush when people vote after work. In Mohandisseen men are having to wait just a few minutes before casting their ballots.
“In the past year, we’ve developed a good system,” says a friendly police officer managing security. “The Egyptian people are really fast learners. I came at this time because I knew it would be quieter,” says Omar Adel. “All my family came yesterday.”
Tariq, an engineer, came home from Dubai to cast a vote. “I came just for the election. This is our future,” he tells me. He sums up the categories of candidate he sees on offer. “We have three different types: the old regime, the Muslim Brotherhood and the revolution. Of course I’m supporting the revolution,” he winks.