UK & World News
Egypt Set For 'Free And Fair' Presidential Vote
Egyptians are preparing to vote in the nation's first "free and fair" presidential election on Wednesday, amid growing impatience over the pace of change.
The country's new leader will be tasked with restoring stability after a turbulent transition to democracy - and appeasing the millions of Egyptians who are still waiting for the revolution to improve their lives.
"I will vote for anyone who can help me," Kalima Abu Mohammed said, standing in her crumbling brick home on the banks of the River Nile, north of Cairo.
"We have no money, and nothing to eat," she said.
She shares three small rooms with her husband and nine children. Her three adult sons have been unemployed for more than a year. "There's no chance of work now in Egypt," one said.
Frustration over poverty in Egypt - where 40% of the population of 80 million live below the breadline - helped to fuel the uprising that unseated President Hosni Mubarak in February 2011.
But Egypt's transformation has been slow and frequently violent, and the economy - especially the tourist industry - has suffered as a result.
"Business, what business?" Ibrahim said, waiting with his horse and carriage near the pyramids at Giza.
"I used to be out all day giving tourists rides, now I'm lucky if there's even one," he said.
Egyptians hope that the election of a new president - the process of which will be completed by the end of June - will mark a turning point.
The main choice is between Islamist and Secular rule.
There are two secular frontrunners, Amr Moussa, the former head of the Arab League, and Ahmed Shafiq, who, controversially, was Hosni Mubarak's last prime minister.
The main Islamist contenders are the independent candidate Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, who is considered socially liberal, and Mohamed Morsi, the harder-line official candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood.
All are promising to improve the economy and promote social justice. The Islamist candidates are promising a "moderate" version of Islamic rule.
Allegiances in Egypt are not clear cut.
Kalima Abu's neighbour is draped in the black attire of an ultra conservative Muslim, with just her eyes on show.
"I don't really care if the president is Islamist or not." she said.
"We just need someone who is going to create jobs and improve things, and if they don't we will kick them out with another revolution," she warned.
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