It’s been 15 months since the Hosni Mubarak regime (propped up by the U.S. government) was toppled during the Arab Spring, and 15 long months of living under a military dictatorship (approved by the U.S. government). Now Egyptians are heading to the polls for the second day to vote in their first free presidential election. Yesterday, turnout was strong with long queues, but today turnout is down, perhaps because it is a national holiday.
Hopefully, electoral corruption will not be a problem. Egyptians do not deserve old Mubarak friends attempting to skew the outcome.
According to Al Jazeera, “Polls reopened on Thursday at 8am local time (06:00 GMT) and are expected to close by 8pm (18:00 GMT).” Egyptians are voting for one of 13 candidates who cover a range of political and religious ideologies. None of the candidates are expected to win tonight, which will necessitate a mid-June run-off election.
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), or the military dictatorship which has been running the country since Mubarak was forced from office, has said that it will hand over power to the elected president. With its power and budget, however, anything is possible. At the very least, any new president will be beholden to the military. And any new president will have to contend with the U.S. and Israel.
Indeed, whichever candidate is ultimately elected has his hands full.