Egypt’s presidential polls open

Polling stations have opened on Wednesday morning in Egypt’s 27 governorates. Eleven presidential candidates are running in the polls that come 15 months after the toppling of former President Hosni Mubarak.

The Presidential Elections Law was put forward this January 2012 by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, interim rulers of the country since 11 February 2011.

The candidates include: former Muslim Brotherhood member Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh, Popular Socialist Alliance Party member Abul Ezz al-Hariry, former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq, former Foreign Minister and Arab League chief Amr Moussa, Nasserist Karama Party leader Hamdeen Sabbahi, judge and vice president of the Court of Cassation Hesham al-Bastawisi, Democratic Peace Party member and former intelligence officer Hossam Khairallah, labor lawyer Khaled Ali, Beginning Party Leader Mahmoud Hossam, Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsy and Islamic writer Mohamed Selim al-Awa. 

There are 53 million eligible voters, 11 percent of whom are in Cairo. 

This is the third nationwide election Egyptians have conducted since the 25 January revolution. In March 2011, Egyptians voted on a series of constitutional amendments put forth by SCAF in a constitutional declaration under which the country has been ruled throughout the last 15 months.

About 41 percent of eligible voters turned out to cast their votes. In November, Egyptians started the voting process for their parliamentary representatives. About 54 percent of eligible voters showed up at the polling stations. 

As per the current constitutional declaration, the president of the republic has a wide range of powers that include calling Parliament to convene, appointing the Cabinet and its prime minister, and representing the state domestically and abroad, among other powers.

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