Egypt’s battle to the ballot: from presidential overthrow to free elections in 15 months

55 photos

Today’s presidential election in Egypt is one of happiness and uncertainty for the Egyptian people who will freely cast their vote, in what some are calling the first day in the post-pharaoh era. The journey to the polls has been rife with violence since the February 11, 2011 overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s autocratic leader for that past 30 years. One of the 13 candidates on the ballot will assume power on July 1 from the military council, which has been overseeing the tumultuous political transition thus far.

The following photo series traces back to the beginning of the political uprising and ends with today’s new beginning set in motion by 50 million eligible Egyptian voters.

With Mubarak gone, Egyptians vote freely for leader
Edmund Blair / Reuters

CAIRO (Reuters) – Egyptians relished their first free leadership vote on Wednesday, with Islamists pitted against secular figures in a contest unthinkable before a popular revolt swept President Hosni Mubarak from power 15 months ago.

With no reliable opinion polls, no one knows who will win the presidency, but Egyptians enjoyed the uncertainty after the routinely rigged votes of Mubarak’s 30 years in power.

“We must prove that the times when we stayed at home and someone would choose for us are over,” said Islam Mohamed, a 27-year-old swimming coach, waiting at a Cairo polling station.

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