In Egypt, First Day Of Voting 'Seemed Remarkably Routine'

May 23, 2012

Polls have closed on a historic day in Egypt: For many it was the first time they had a say in who their leader will be. Hosni Mubarak, who ruled the country for 29 years, was ousted last year. And before him, for another 30 or so years, Egyptian presidents have run unopposed.

Kimberly Adams was at the polls in Cairo today for NPR. She filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"Many waited in line for hours to choose the replacement for President Hosni Mubarak, who was booted from office during the Arab Spring.

"Fifty-eight-year-old Wahid Zahran stood in line with hundreds of others as polls opened in the suburb of New Cairo.

"He and his two friends admitted it was the first time voting for all of them — and they were planning to vote for different candidates.

"'And it's very nice for the first time in my age to live for the real democracy,' Zahran said.

"Exit polling wasn't allowed, so there's no clear sense yet as to which of the 13 candidates may be in the lead, but it's likely that the second day of voting on Thursday will culminate in a June run-off election."

Perhaps McClatchy Newspapers put it best when they said that despite the history and despite parliamentary elections riddled with irregularities, Wednesday's voting "seemed remarkably routine."

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