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Long queues as Egyptians begin voting in first pos-Mubarak polls

Monday November 28, 2011 10:18:19 PM, Agencies

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Cairo: Egyptians have started casting their ballots in the first parliamentary elections since former president Hosni Mubarak was toppled in a popular uprising earlier this year.

Long queues were seen outside many polling stations amid tight security arrangements as voters flocked to the polls on Monday morning. Voting in this round of the elections last for two days, Al Jazeera reported.

Many Egyptians remained worried that there may be outbreaks of violence at polling stations, while others have been concerned that the nation remains polarised over the choice of candidates.

In some parts of the country, there were several logistical problems in the morning, and polling stations had not opened more than an hour after the time scheduled, as ballot papers and the ink used to mark voters' fingers had not arrived.

"The two problems are this, one ballot papers arriving very late, secondly, judges are arriving very late [and] some not even turning up," Al Jazeera's Sherine Tadros reporting from Cairo's densely populated Shubra district said.

Additionally, a ban on campaigning at polling stations has been broken, with members of parties handing out pamphlets and banners.

However, Tadros added: "The mood is very much upbeat. I really have not seen this kind of voter turnout."

 

“It was no use to vote before. Our voices were completely irrelevant,” news Agency AFP quoted Mona Abdel Moneim, one of several women who said they were voting for the first time in their lives.

Samira (65) told AFP, “I am sick and I wasn’t planning on coming, but what happened recently made me feel that I had to vote. For 30 years we were silent. It’s enough."


Al Jazeera's Rawya Rageh reported from Assiut, one of the most significant governorates in the Upper Egypt region, that there appeared to be an exceptionally high turnout by the standards of the country's previous votes.

"The lines have not stopped outside the polling centres," she said. “If we're judging by the turnout, this has been by all accounts a success."

Women were turning out in high numbers, unusual for such a conservative region, she said.

There were no signs of violence or coercion, she reported, but there were campaign violations as some parties continued to campaign even as voting was underway.

Poor organisation by authorities was also an issue, she said.
 

 

 

 


 

 

 

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