Egyptians Vote Monday And Tuesday For Next President

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Former military chief Abdel Fattah el-Sissi is the heavy favorite to win. His only rival is leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi, who placed a strong third in the last presidential election held in 2012.


It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.


And I'm David Green. It is election day in Egypt, a country that took center stage in the Arab Spring. Since then, it has been endless political turmoil there. Last year, Egypt's first elected president was ousted in a military coup, and the military government has since tried to stifle dissent. Still, across Egypt today, people are lining up at polling stations, and we're going to spend some time trying to understand this moment.

Let's begin with NPR's Leila Fadel who's near a polling station in Cairo. She's on the line with us. Leila, give us a sense of the atmosphere and tell us who people are voting for.

LEILA FADEL, BYLINE: Well, as you can hear all around me, people are really celebrating, singing to military songs, singing to patriotic songs - saying they are going to vote for ex-military chief Abdel Fattah el-Sissi. They say he is the man that will bring security to Egypt. So far we haven't been able to find a voter voting for the one man that's going up against Sissi, Hamdeen Sabahi. Everyone we've interviewed says they are voting for this ex-military chief, that he is the person that will lead Egypt out of crisis.

GREENE: All right, I'm sure we'll be hearing much more reporting from you. NPR's Leila Fadel in Cairo. Leila, thank you.

FADEL: OK, thank you.

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