With Resignation, Egyptians Head To Polls For Second Round Of Voting

Many in Egypt today stayed home. That enthusiasm and joy to be voting in a free election for the first time had given way to resignation, during the second round of presidential voting, which started yesterday.

That’s the picture reports out of Egypt today are painting.

Perhaps that was most evident with Hussein, a Cairo taxi driver that Ahram, the Egyptian newspaper, spoke to at one of the polls.

“Why should I vote? My vote doesn’t count and the picture is very clear – they want [Ahmed] Shafiq and they are going to make him the next president whoever we vote for,” he told the paper. But he voted and he also voted during the first round of presidential elections.

“At the time I thought we were having real elections but now I know it’s a soap opera; just like the Ramadan TV series,” he said.

This past Thursday, Egypt’s high court threw the country into uncertainty when it declared that some parliamentary elections were illegal and thus the whole parliament should be dissolved. Many also saw the ruling of the supreme court — with most judges appointed before the fall of Hosni Mubarak — as a “smooth military coup.”

Now Egyptians are faced with a stark choice: On the one hand is Mohammed Morsi, candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic group that won the most seats back in December and January. On the other is Ahmed Shafiq, a remnant of the old regime, the last prime minister under Mubarak, and who many see as representing the interests of the ruling military.

Another big question facing the country is whether the military will truly hand over power at the end of the presidential election, which has been the plan.

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