Egypt: Most believe polls will be fair under military council
Between 2010 and 2011 elections, too many things have changed, but still there are few similarities.
On the face of it, it still has the lively atmosphere of an election. Posters, banners and pictures of candidates adorn almost every street in Cairo. But scratch the surface and big differences start emerging.
In the heart of the Egyptian capital, huge numbers of youth have been demonstrating calling for more measures to "protect their January 25 revolution". Many are boycotting the election — a move that was not easily possible publicly during last year's election.
Many people were tightlipped last year, or if they speak, they were very guarded out of fear of the security forces.
But once the regime of Hosni Mubarak was toppled after 30 years of rule things changed.
"I feel now my vote counts," said Ala, a taxi driver in his thirties. For the first time in his life he will vote.
In the past, people didn't vote because "results were previously known".
"I don't want to vote because I am not convinced with any candidate," said Rami Ahmad, an Egyptian in his forties when asked whether the spreading word that non-voter will pay a fine of 500 Egyptian pounds. "What are they going to do? Force me?"
Last year the election was rigged in a "vulgar and open" manner, noted a political scientist.
Many believe the results of last year were the last straw that broke the camel's back, and triggered the revolution.
Today, a military council is in charge of the country until a civilian leadership is established.
"There is a fundamental difference," between the two elections, said Bassem Kamal, a member of the executive council of the Revolution Youth Alliance.
"Last time, the party which ran the process was the judge and foe at the same time," he said in reference to the National Democratic Party of the former president Hosni Mubarak.
"Today, despite not fully trusting the military council, I don't see its intention to manipulate the election, which most probably, will be fair."
Also this year's election will be the first time the Muslim Brotherhood will be contesting it.
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