The choice for president in the country’s first ever, free presidential election is a choice between two dominant forces – the previously outlawed Islamists Muslim Brotherhood which has a 70% majority in the newly elected parliament – and a return to the past represented by the military and its candidate, air force general and last Hosni Mubarak prime minister (until February 11, 2011), Ahmed Shafiq, 70 (seen voting above), an admitted admirer of Mubarak, 84 (below left), who was sentenced to life in prison on June 2, 2012.
Dr. Mohamed Mursi, 60 (at an election rally above), is chairman of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party.
The presidential election commission panel disqualified at least 10 of the 23 candidates. Candidates had to be citizens without criminal records and with two Egyptian parents (as U.S. presidential candidates need to have two U.S. citizen parents to be qualified as a naturally born American). They also needed 30,000 signatures from voters in at least 15 of Egypt’s 27 governments or have the backing of 30 MP’s or a political party with at least one seat in parliament.
Egypt’s now U.S. trained military has been in behind the scenes control of the country since the days of Gamel Abdel Nassar and things may not change this year either.