Voices of Egypt's voters in presidential elections

AP News
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Posted: May 23, 2012 2:51 PM
Voices of Egypt's voters in presidential elections

Egyptians cast their ballots Wednesday in the first free presidential election in the country's history. The winner will replace longtime authoritarian President Hosni Mubarak, who was ousted in an 18-day uprising last year. Voters in Egypt offered some of their thoughts on the candidates and the election:

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"We came to elect the man who implements Shariah (Islamic law). But I am afraid of liberals, secularists, Christians. I am afraid of their reaction if an Islamist wins. They won't let it go easily. But God be with us." _ Um Amdel Rahman, veiled 33-year-old woman voting in middle class Cairo neighborhood of Umraniya.

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"All the election programs are just dreams. The country is going under. We need a president that implements justice and brings back security. Bottom line." _ Essam el-Khateeb, a government employee in Cairo who voted for Ahmed Shafiq.

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"I have no money in my pocket. If I had a pound in my wallet, I'd feed my family first. ... I have no candidate in this race. The poor person is always last." _ Ismail Ibrahim, 52-year-old unemployed father of two in Alexandria's Abu Suleiman district.

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"My life is very hard. I am a farmer who collects grass for the cows. We don't want a corrupt president who swallows our money but one who lifts the hardship we live under. ... . They (the Muslim Brotherhood) bring medical convoys to treat us, why should I not vote for them." _ Souad Abdel-Tawab, farmer in her 60s in poor district of Abu Seer in Giza, explaining why she voted for Mohammed Morsi.

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"God be with the new president. There will be 85 million eyes monitoring him. There will be new rules for everything, whoever the winner is. Even if Mubarak himself won and came back, he can't rule us the same old way. There will be no more theft. If they try, Tahrir Square is there." _ Zaki Mohammed, a teacher in his 40s.

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"We must all come out to have democracy. Whoever abstains will regret it later. ... We had the biggest pharaoh of them all (Mubarak). Now we will elect a good man. He will face many problems. God help him." _ Ibrahim Ali, 74-year-old who voted for Abdel-Moneim Abolfotoh.

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"I voted for the Brotherhood in parliament elections. Now they want to control religious tourism, this is what I got from them. The parliament has failed." _ Salah Ali, tourism agent.

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"I want to give the Brotherhood a chance to rule, and if it doesn't work they will be held accountable." _ Aida Ibrahim, veiled mother of five and volunteer teacher of the Quran and Arabic. Voted for Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi.

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"For any new face, it will be difficult for them. ... Mubarak's era had its good and bad things. Let us try this one. I prayed to God and asked him what I should do and this is what I got. " _ Wafaa Fayez, 36-year-old Cairo housewife, explaining why she voted for Ahmed Shafiq.