On Wednesday, Egyptians will head to the polls to vote for their president in Egypt's Presidential Election, the first in their modern history.
The importance of the moment cannot be overstated. After suffering under an iron clad dictatorship for the past 30 years, Egyptians ousted former President Hosni Mubarak in the 2011 Egyptian Revolution last February, and now head to the polls to select their next leader.
Since the Revolution, the country has been governed by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, or the Army, which set specific rules for who is allowed to run as a candidate for president in the election.
There are 13 candidates vying for power in the elections, although the contest has become a showdown between two different camps: those loyal to Mubarak's old regime (Felool in Arabic) and those loyal to the country's largest Islamist movement, the Muslim Brotherhood. Two front-runners have emerged from early polling results: Amr Moussa, who served as Foreign Minister under Mubarak from 1991 to 2001 as well as secretary of the Arab League from 2001 until 2011, and Dr. Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, who is a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood (who relinquished his support in 2011). Still, other contenders, like Mohamed Morsy, official representative of the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party," could make a strong showing.
For a complete guide to the Egyptian presidential contenders see here.
PolicyMic will be covering the Egyptian presidential elections live. Voting is scheduled to take place over the course of May 23-24th, and results in the first round of voting will be released on June 3rd. If needed, the second round run-off election is scheduled for June 16-17. For real-time updates, refresh this page.
5/28, 5:08 PM: Shafiq campaign headquarters set on fire in Cairo; police arrest some individuals suspected of starting the fire.
5/28, 4:14 PM: Protests in Tahrir continue (photo via @GSquare86)
5/28, 11:49 AM: Amr Moussa will not support either of the two candidates (Shafiq and Morsi) who will face each other in runoffs.
5/28, 10:00 AM: The Presidential Elections Commission has announced the final and official results of the first round of voting in a press conference. They are as follows:
Voter turnout: 46.42 percent
Mohamed Morsi: 5,764,952 votes
Ahmed Shafiq: 5,505,327 votes
Hamdeen Sabbahi: 4,820,273 votes
Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh: 4,065,239 votes
Amr Moussa: 2,588,850 votes
Mohamed Selim El-Awa: 235,374 votes
Khaled Ali: 134,056 votes
Aboul Ezz El-Hariri: 40,090 votes
Hisham Al-Bastawisi: 29,189 votes
Mahmoud Hossam: 23,992 votes
Mohamed Fawzi Eissa: 23,889 votes
Hossam al-Din Khairallah: 22,036 votes
Abdullah Al-Ashal: 12,249 votes
As expected, the runoff will be between Mohamed Morsi and Ahmed Shafiq.
5/28, 9:54 AM: Revolutionary groups have taken to the streets tooday to demand the implementation of the Disenfranchisement Law which could potentially ban Shafiq from participating in the race.
5/28, 9:46 AM: An independent group, Judges for Egypt, has raised its concern regarding the massive increase of eligible voters between last year's referendum vote and the presidential elections, a period of about 14 months that allegedly witnessed an increase of almost 5 million voters.
5/28, 9:00 AM: The Revolutionary Socialists have called for unity against Shafiq; they have also called on the Brotherhood to form a presidential panel and select a prime minister from outside of the Brotherhood.
5/28, 8:52 AM: Sabbahi and his Karama Party will be boycotting the runoff between Morsi and Shafiq.
5/28, 8:00 AM: Aboul Fotouh has said: "I cannot call these elections clean under any circumstances, even if they announce that I won. I had hoped that at least it would be as fair as the parliamentary elections. It wasn't." He said that there were three main violations during the elections: his campaign was not allowed to view voter registration lists before or after the election, many candidate representatives were removed from various polling stations during portions of the counting process, and billions of pounds were spent allegedly buying votes.
5/27, 5:05 PM: Aboul Fotouh has said that the official vote count announcement from the first round should be delayed until the Constitutional Court issues a final decision regarding the "disenfranchisement law," which could potentially disqualify candidate Shafiq for his involvement with the Mubarak regime.
5/27, 5:00 PM: The Interior Ministry has begun monitoring the voting stations that witnessed tension in the first round of elections in order to secure them in the runoff phase.
5/27, 3:12 PM: The Aboul Fotouh campaign announces that a press conference will be held on Monday (tomorrow) at 1:30 pm (Egypt time).
5/27, 3:02 PM: A coalition of 30 political parties and revolutionary groups have called for the dissolution of the Brotherhood as a prerequisite for their support of Morsi. They also demanded that Morsi keep a distance from the organization and called for Egypt to remain a civil state.
5/27, 1:30 PM: The Muslim Brotherhood has denied that the first round of elections was rigged, noting that they only witnessed few voting irregularities which would not influence the final result. Commenting on the release of official results, the Presidential Elections Commission has noted that final results will not be released until the five appeals submitted by presidential candidates are considered; results are expected to be announced either Monday or Tuesday. Sunday (today) is the deadline for challenges and appeals to be submitted to the Commission.
5/27, 12:55 PM: A judge has been assigned the investigation of profiteering and corruption accusations against presidential candidate Shafiq. In the complaint filed by MP Essam Sultan, it is alleged that Shafiq sold 40,238 square meters of land to the sons of Mubarak for a rate of LE.75 per square meter, when the real value was LE8 per square meter.
5/27, 10:15 AM: The Sabbahi campaign has denied rumors that it will file a lawsuit calling for the suspension of presidential elections.
5/26, 7:14 PM: Ahram Online produces a number of interesting visuals like the one below and more in order to display voter trends across the country.
5/26, 7:07 PM: Prominent opposition leader Ayman Nour has said that he will back candidate Morsi only if he leaves the Brotherhood and its affiliated Freedom and Justice Party. In other electoral news, Amr Moussa has also called for investigations into voter fraud, after reports emerged suggesting that police officers were using false identification cards to vote.
5/26, 4:40 PM: Morsi addresses revolutionaries in a speech, attempting to quell nervousness, saying: "There will be a coalition government and the presidency will not rely on an individual."
5/26, 2:44 PM: At his press conference, Sabbahi says to supporters that he will not tell them who to vote for; he also states that he will not accept the position of Vice President. "I will not accept a position or a title. I won't compromise," he said.
5/26, 2:34 PM: Al-Masry Al-Youm reports that Sabbahi and Aboul Fotouh are not attending a meeting with presidential candidate Morsi.
5/26, 1:44 PM: A member of the Social Alliance Democratic Party has stated that he has found 15 voter ballots for Sabbahi thrown in the sugar cane bushes in Qena near a polling station. Abu Bakr Abdel-Rahman El-Rawy also alleges that he found hundreds of other ballots, but people in the neighborhood gathered around him and took them away.
5/26, 12:46 PM: Commenting on the elections in his capacity as an election monitor with his organization the Carter Center, former US President Jimmy Carter said: "I would say that these (elections) have been encouraging to me." He added though that there were "constraints placed on us as witnesses that have never been placed on us before."
5/26, 12:37 PM: Prominent MP Amr Hamzawy calls for the protection of the revolution and on Morsi to withdraw so that Sabbahi can compete against Shafiq. Former Prime Minister Essam Sharaf makes a statement warning voters that boycotting the run-off elections "will strengthen counter-revolutionary voting." The Salafi Nour Party announces its official support for Morsi against Shafiq in the run-off vote.
5/26, 11:52 AM: Leftist candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi will file an appeal for Egypt's presidential election to be suspended because of alleged voting irregularities and a pending case over former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq's right to stand, Sabbahi's lawyer said on Saturday. "We will present an appeal on behalf of candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi...to the presidential electoral committee, citing a series of irregularities ... that have affected the outcome of the first round," lawyer Essam El-Islamboly told Reuters. Sabbahi will be hosting a press conference tonight at 8 pm (Egypt time).
5/26, 9:48 AM: As Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood readies to host losing presidential candidates in a meeting to gain support for its candidate Mohammed Morsi, a spokesman for the Islamist group urged the 10 other candidates to "save the revolution.”
Meanwhile, at a Saturday news conference, Shafiq pledged there would be “no going back” to the old regime. He served as former President Hosni Mubarak's last prime minister before Mr. Mubarak lost power in last year's pro-democracy protests.
5/25, 5:00 PM: Aboul Fotouh says that he has begun working towards the goal of confronting the "corrupt elements" of Egyptian society. He says, "I am starting to make the necessary phone calls to set up meetings with all political forces so we can unite our efforts in facing the corrupt regime."
5/25, 4:19 PM: Ahram reports that the Brotherhood allegedly invites Sabbahi, Aboul Fotouh and others to discuss the possibility of a coalition government and the position of Vice President.
5/25, 4:16 PM: "Anyone who was a revolutionary in this campaign must now regroup and get back to working on how to make sure Shafiq does not win." Reflections like this and more from members of the Aboul Fotouh campaign here.
5/25, 3:41 PM: Al-Masry Al-Youm reports final results from all 27 governorates giving Morsi 5,446,460 votes (24.9%), Shafiq 5,338,285 votes (24.5%), Sabbahi 4,616,937 votes (21.1%), Aboul Fotouh 3,889,195 votes (17.8%), and Moussa 2,471,559 votes (11.3%). Out of 50,524,993 eligible voters, 21,856,708 submitted votes (21,830,477 of which were ultimately counted), making for a 43.3% turnout rate.
5/25, 2:44 PM: Al-Masry Al-Youm reports results from all 27 governorates giving Morsi 5,446,460 votes, Shafiq 5,338,285 votes, and Sabbahi 4,616,937.
5/25, 12:53 PM: Tabulated results (all governorates) as reported by citizen-led unofficial effort thanks to Iyad El-Baghdadi give Morsi 25.5%, Shafiq 24.4%, Sabbahi 21.3%, Aboul Fotouh 17.9%, and Moussa 10.9%.
5/25, 11:54 AM: Results from 25 governorates, as reported by Ahram, give Morsi 26.48%, Shafiq 24.74%, Sabbahi 20.01%, Aboul Fotouh 17.79%, and Moussa 10.69%.
5/25, 10:37 AM: Citing official judicial sources, Ahram reports that with 90% of votes counted, Morsi has 5.4 million votes, Shafiq 5.3 million, and Sabbahi 4.6 million.
5/25, 9:23 AM: Egyptian state television announces that final counts will be officially released on Tuesday.
5/25, 7:30 AM: Most recent results released by Ahram which include votes from 18 out of the 27 governorates give Morsi 25.59%, Shafiq 25.05%, Sabbahi 21.22%, Aboul Fotouh 17.52%, and Moussa 10.61%. Unofficial citizen-led results say they've tabulated 25 governorates and give Morsi 26.62%, Shafiq 24.12%, Sabbahi 20.35%, Aboul Fotouh 18.39%, and Moussa 10.52%.
5/25, 6:26 AM: Another Twitter reaction:
5/25, 5:17 AM: Interactive map breaking down regional results from first-round of presidential elections thus far.
5/25, 5:03 AM: The Muslim Brotherhood announces that: "It is clear that the run-off will be between (the Brotherhood's) Mohammed Morsi and Ahmed Shafiq." This is based on counting from roughly 12,800 of the 13,100 polling stations which give Morsi 25%, Shafiq 23%, Aboul Fotouh 20%, and Sabbahi 19%.
5/25, 4:42 AM: A Tweet commenting on the elections (refers to debate between Moussa and Aboul Fotouh and expected run-off between Shafiq and Morsi):
5/25, 12:26 AM: Latest citizen-led unofficial tabulation by Iyad El-Baghdadi takes 10.31 million votes into consideration and gives Morsi 27.82%, Shafiq 21.43%, Aboul Fotouh 20.40%, Sabbahi 17.9%, and Moussa 12.46%. Around half of Egyptian votes have yet to be tabulated and announced, but predictions begin to flood social media. Some Twitter users start to grumble and express fear on what could potentially be a Morsi versus Shafiq second-round.
5/24, 11:29 PM: According to results from 6661 districts (as announced by the Brotherhood's FJP), Morsi has 30.8%, Shafiq 22.3%, Sabbahi 20%, Aboul Fotouh 17%, and Moussa 11%.
5/24, 9:43 PM: Vote counting continues through the night (photo via Al-Jazeera English)
5/24, 9:25 PM: A top judicial source tells Ahram's Arabic newssite that 1,750 polling stations have reported official results, bringing Morsi over 1 million votes, Shafiq 740,000, Aboul Fotouh 690,000, Sabbahi 545,000 and Moussa 480,000.
5/24, 8:33 PM:
5/24, 7:51 PM: Results from 678 polling stations according to FJP reporting, give Morsi 35.5%, Shafiq 22.2%, Aboul Fotouh 16.7%, Sabbahi 11.5%, and Moussa 11.4%.
5/24, 7:04 PM: Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party releases results from 236 polling stations across the nation (out of over 13,000): Morsi with 55,698, Shafiq with 33,139, Aboul Fotouh with 24,882, Moussa with 16,913, and Sabbahi with 12,460. The FJP also announces that voter turnout was 50%. Ahram suggests that Morsi is slightly in the lead but too early to tell how counts will evolve.
5/24, 4:26 PM: A number of results for individual polling stations are already being reported in Arabic on Twitter via egyelections2. Votes are also being tabulated into a public Google Doc by Iyad El-Baghdadi which is being posted onto Twitter periodically.
5/24, 3:53 PM: Each individual polling station will conduct its own counting and announce its results individually once it is done counting. The votes will then be recorded on a stamped and signed sheet; copies will be made available to the media and campaign representatives and candidates will have the chance to appeal results. A meeting with the Presidential Elections Commission will also be held tomorrow to incorporate overseas expat votes.
5/24, 3:13 PM: Some polling stations have already begun the official counting process. (Photo in Dokki polling station via @Sarahcarr)
5/24, 3:00 PM: Official closing time for polling stations across Egypt (although voters who were already at polling stations by this time, but had not yet voted will be accommodated according to the Presidential Elections Commission).
5/24, 2:52 PM: Independent "Judges for Egypt" Movement aims to provide parallel service to Presidential Elections Commission by posting election results here. 300 judges will be involved in the process of transmitting and providing these results.
5/24, 2:30 PM: The Presidential Elections Commission says that voting will continue to accommodate everyone who is already in the polling stations.
5/24, 2:20 PM: A cousin of former President Mubarak claims that the entire family has voted for Shafiq. The Ministry of Health reports that two died and 12 were injured on the second day of voting.
5/24, 1:07 PM: Another exit poll making the rounds on Twitter. This poll is allegedly being reported by Ahmed Kamel of the Moussa campaign and it gives Morsi 25%, Moussa 23%, Shafiq 18%, Sabbahi 16%, and Aboul Fotouh 15%.
5/24, 12:06 PM: According to monitors, a Morsi supporter was allegedly distributing meat and sugar to voters in Qena. In Marsa Matrouh, a Shafiq supporter was arrested and accused of giving money to voters. Two Shafiq supporters were injured after a clash with Morsi supporters in Zagazig. An Aboul Fotouh supporter in Fayoum accused a Morsi supporter of beating him up after he refused to vote for Morsi.
5/24, 11:27 AM: Yosry Hammad, official Salafi Nour Party spokesman, says that his party may stage a protest if the Presidential Elections Commission "continues to ignore the violations" that candidate Shafiq has committed.
5/24, 11:23 AM: The mother and sister of Khaled Said vote; his mother had previously expressed her support for candidate Sabbahi. (The mobilization around the police brutality which led to the death of Said is considered by some analysts to be one of the significant lead-ups to the Egyptian revolution).
5/24, 10:51 AM: Official voter turnout thus far is reported to be 40%.
5/24, 10:49 AM: A picture of the ballot (via @JonathanRashad)
5/24, 10:46 AM: In one Suez polling station, a woman was caught voting under someone else's name (she was allegedly exploiting a similarity in names). The presiding judge then referred her to the prosecutor.
5/24, 10:27 AM: Tareq Abbas of the Egyptian Coalition to Support the Rights of People with Disabilities says that because he is confined to a wheelchair, he was unable to climb up the stairs to submit his vote. The judge at the Lotfy Al-Sayed School polling station refused to come down to take his vote, saying that he had no legal obligation to help him. Abbas was unable to submit a formal complaint because the police station is only accessible by stairs as well.
5/24, 10:16 AM:
5/24, 9:49 AM: Shayfeencom Movement produces a humorous video in Arabic teaching voters about voter fraud and illegal voting practices. The video is below and an English summary of the content can be accessed here.
5/24, 9:35 AM: Picture of a stand that says: "Learn your [assigned] polling station free!" (via @tarekshalaby)
5/24, 9:00 AM: Moussa Twitter account announces that they are waiting for Shafiq to pull out of race to boost Moussa's chances. Shafiq Twitter account responds by saying: "It seems that Mr. Amr Moussa is suffering from electoral hallucinations." (via Egypt Independent). The Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar says that it is forbidden not to cast a ballot if you are eligible to do so.
5/24, 8:00 AM: Exit polls from yesterday (unclear how reliable they are) begin to make the rounds on Twitter. They give Morsi 22.7%, Aboul Fotouh 22.2%, Shafiq 14.4%, Sabbahi 9.6%, and Moussa 9.4%.
5/24, 7:30 AM: In Alexandria, Islamists are seen attempting to convince voters not to support candidates previously affiliated with the regime. Al-Masry Al-Youm journalists also see Morsy supporters engaging in illegal campaign activity. In Menoufiya, a Shafiq representative slaps an Aboul Fotouh representative and a complaint against him is filed by the presiding judge.
5/24, 6:30 AM: One 72-year old voter feels ill while searching for his name on a voter registration list in Zaher district and passes away before he is able to vote. The Presidential Elections Commission announces that voting will be extended until 9 pm tonight.
5/24, 5:42 AM:
5/24, 5:00 AM: Voter turnout this morning remains relatively low. The government announces that the sorting of ballots will begin today evening after the closure of polling stations. Turnout is expected to increase in the afternoon as occurred yesterday.
5/24, 4:41 AM: A Khaled Ali supporter tweets that a presiding judge refuses to take any action against a police officer who is campaigning for Shafiq at El-Seka club in Nasr City.
5/24, 2:00 AM: Polls open again for the second day of voting. There were no official complaints submitted regarding the safety of ballots overnight.
5/23, 10:00 PM: Commenting on voter turnout, some analysts suggest that low turnout in certain regions was related to hot weather and far distances. In one piece, Ahram reporters write that after having spoken to various campaign officials at the end of the day, Morsi campaigners seemed to be the most confident in their candidate and his ability to succeed in the first round of voting.
5/23, 5:15 PM: Speaking at a press conference after the closure of polling stations, the Presidential Elections Commission commended the presidential candidates for limited electoral breaches, saying that the day had passed peacefully with "minimum problems." The April 6 Movement reports that three of its members have allegedly been arrested by military police for videotaping electoral violations and irregularities.
5/23, 3:00 PM: Polling stations officially close for the day. They are set to open again tomorrow at 8:00 am (Egypt time). Commenting on Egypt's hosting of multi-candidate presidential elections today, sociologist and prominent dissident Saad Eddin Ibrahim says: "I can honestly say that if I die today then I will die satisfied."
5/23, 2:52 PM: Gunfight breaks out in Bakous district of Alexandria; presidential candidate El-Awa held in mosque for his safety. One Egyptian woman goes into labor while at a polling station, decides to name her son "Shafiq" out of support for the presidential candidate. One voter in Gharbiya found his name listed on the voter registration list more than 50 times. Prime Minister Ganzouri declares Thursday a holiday for public employees in order to allow them to vote. April 6 Movement and "Shayfeencom" initiative point to candidates Shafiq and Morsi as those accused of the most electoral breaches.
5/23, 2:41 PM: Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics estimates that voter turnout will be about 60% based on Wednesday's participation. Polling stations to close in less than 20 minutes.
5/23, 1:25 PM: Presidential candidate Shafiq is attacked by protesters who hurl stones and shoes at him after he cast his ballot.
5/23, 12:43 PM: Presidential Elections Commission announces that polling stations will remain open today until 9 pm to accommodate high voter turnout.
5/23, 12:33 PM: On-the-ground update from Stephen Kalin: "I've been at the Roda Elementary School in Menial (Cairo) for the past two hours. Separate buildings for men and women. A Morsi and a Sabahy representative confirmed there have been no violations and everything is moving smoothly. Lines no longer than 150 or 200 at any point, but moving pretty quickly. There is one incident in one of the women's rooms right now. They let in a bunch of old women and so crowded a small room. There was confusion and screaming, which was a stark contrast to the calmness of all the other rooms. An Aboul Fotouh representative said he was very disturbed by that and was planing to report it."
5/23, 12:23 PM: Three polling stations in Bani Suef allegedly closed after clashes between Morsi and Aboul Fotouh supporters. Voters in Kafr El-Sheikh allegedly receive LE150 and a meal for voting for Moussa.
5/23, 11:22 AM: What may be potentially the first recorded instance of fraud. Al-Mogaz reports that a judge marked Morsy for a disabled man who had asked him to mark Moussa instead. Upon leaving, the disabled man immediately submitted an official complaint.
5/23, 11:11 AM: Some polling stations are missing voter registration lists. Other stations are also facing a shortage of ink, voting booths, and pens (according to monitoring reports by One World Foundation).
5/23, 11:06 AM: Long lines outside of one polling station in Giza. (via @evanchill)
5/23, 10:15 AM: Minor irregularities and violations reported, including polling stations opening late, suspicious activities by poll workers, mass texts from political parties urging voters to select a specific candidate, and Brotherhood representatives passing out flyers. Some voters are also complaining that some polling stations have been closed. No evidence of vote buying or rigging recorded at this point.
5/23, 8:23 AM: Presidential candidate Selim Al-Awa in line to vote
5/23, 8:19 AM:
5/23, 8:00 AM: (Translation of tweet below) A BBC reporter asks a woman waiting in line to vote how long she has been waiting and she responds with a wide smile and says "...for thirty years."
5/23, 7:25 AM: Presidential candidate Amr Moussa after voting
5/23, 7:25 AM: Brotherhood candidate Morsy in line to vote
5/23, 7:25 AM: Leftist candidate Sabbahi in line to vote
5/23, 5:30 AM: Presidential candidate Aboul Fotouh votes
5/23, 2:00 AM: Polling stations open (8:00 AM Egypt time)
5/22, 11:24 PM: Google welcomes the start to Egypt's elections with a doodle.
5/22, 11:06 PM: 13,000 polling stations open all across Egypt in less than 3 hours. While most analysts expect a 50-60% turnout rate, a recent cabinet poll suggests that 80% of eligible voters will participate. 150,000 soldiers and officers are being deployed to secure the process. 9,700 monitors from local and foreign organizations have received permits to observe the elections.
"A police officer at the El-Seka club polling station in Nasr City is campaigning for Ahmed Shafiq, but the presiding judge has refused to take any action against him, not even just to kick him out of the building."