CAIRO – Egyptian voters of many ages, occupations and beliefs stood in line for hours Wednesday to cast their ballots for a new president. The winner would replace Hosni Mubarak, deposed in a popular uprising last year. He was voted in several times, but those elections were generally regarded as blatantly rigged, and turnout was low.
The people waiting patiently on a hot day to vote for a new leader appeared mesmerized by the prospect of a real election, the first free ballot for president in the Arab world. The main candidates among the 13 running for office were Islamists or representatives of the old guard — officials who served in Mubarak's government at one time or another.
Absent were prominent candidates representing the young, secular liberals who led last year's uprising, and some voters expressed disappointment over that.