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News Link • Voting and Elections

Egypt's first free election will be a 'lively race'

The contest is a novelty for a nation where elections during the 30-year rule of Hosni Mubarak were thinly attended shows in which the result was a foregone conclusion.

This time, many of Egypt's 50 million eligible voters were already queuing before polling stations opened at 8am to determine who would lead the country when the generals who have overseen a transition marred by violence, protests and political deadlock formally hand over by July 1.

Opinion polls, a largely untested exercise in Egypt, have varied widely but suggest the front-runners are two Mubarak-era figures – Amr Moussa and Ahmed Shafiq – and two Islamists – the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Mursi and Abdel Moneim Abol Fotouh, who was ejected from the movement last year.


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