Historic

Egyptians Vote in First Free Election

MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/GettyImages

An Egyptian woman casts her ballot at a polling station in Cairo on May 23, 2012, during the country's first presidential election since a popular uprising toppled Hosni Mubarak. Egyptians vote in historic presidential elections contested by Islamists and secularists promising different futures for the country after the overthrow of veteran dictator Hosni Mubarak. AFP PHOTO/MAHMUD HAMS (Photo credit should read MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/GettyImages)

Fifteen months after street protests began, Egyptian voters took to the polls in the country’s first-ever free presidential election. Millions reportedly waited in lines to cast their voters for one of the five leading candidates for the office once held by the iron-fisted Hosni Mubarak, who was knocked from power following the Arab Spring uprising. The country’s largest privately owned newspaper, Al Masry Al Youm, cried out, “Rise up, Egyptians!” on Wednesday morning, the first of two voting days. The race, said to have no reliable polls and a potential runoff next week, has been nearly impossible to predict. There were few reports of trouble, though lines were said to be longer at rural precincts than those in cities.