Egyptians cast their votes on historic day

The National reports: Today, and tomorrow, the buzz that has scorched street corners, cafes and offices of Egypt for months will culminate in the country’s first free elections for president.

The man who takes the helm at this political transition, from sixty years of autocratic rule by military men to a representative democracy, will forever stand as a symbol of the popular uprising that forced the abdication of President Hosni Mubarak.

“This is a foundational election in the creation of Egypt’s first democratic government,” said Lisa Anderson, a political-science professor and the president of the American University in Cairo (AUC). “Like any democratic government, it will be flawed. But what’s important about this is the process of creating an accountable president and parliament … The biggest change is that Egyptians are realising they have a responsibility as citizens to elect a leader.”

The campaign ignited a nationwide debate about Egypt’s future. Candidates have criss-crossed the country in past weeks in an unprecedented exercise in democracy. There have been countless media appearances and sponsored viewings of campaign videos in public squares.

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