As it happened: Egypt presidential election

Key points

  • Egyptians voted for a second day in the first free presidential election in their country's history, 15 months after President Hosni Mubarak was ousted.
  • Polls opened at 08:00 (06:00 GMT) and voting time was extended until 21:00 (19:00 GMT).
  • Thirteen candidates are standing including Islamists, leftists and former government ministers.
  • Counting due to finish on Saturday with results expected on 29 May.
  • A run-off will be held on 16 and 17 June if no-one wins 50% of the vote.
  • All times GMT.

    Welcome to the second day of the BBC's live coverage of Egypt's historic presidential elections. Polls opened at 08:00 (06:00 GMT) Come back to this page throughout the day for live updates.

    Jon Leyne BBC Middle East correspondent

    Voters streamed to the polls with enthusiasm on the first day. It was a day remarkably free of incident. Protestors barracked the presidential candidate and former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq when he voted in a Cairo suburb. But apart from that, almost no trouble was reported across Egypt. Some voters, who have learned from the experience of the parliamentary elections, may be waiting for the second day of polling, in order to skip the crowds.

    Ramy Raoof, blogger and activist

    tweets: I got to the polling station I'm going to vote at in Nasr City (a suburb of Cairo) about an hour ago and found an orderly queue stretching around the walls


    The government has made Thursday a public holiday, partly to allow public sector employees time to cast their ballots. On Wednesday, voting was extended by an hour to 21:00 (19:00 GMT) to cater for queues at a number of polling stations, but there has been no word on whether the same will happen today.


    There are few indications of who is ahead after the first day's voting. Thirteen candidates are standing in this round, with a run-off to be held on 16 and 17 June if no one of them wins more than 50% of the vote. You can find out more about the candidates in BBC Online's profiles of them.


    There are mixed reports of turnout; while reports from some regions indicate a slow start, blogger Zeinobia says that in polling stations she has been to around Cairo, "turnout is noticeably higher compared to yesterday". She suggests that even where it is getting off to a slow start, more people may arrive in the afternoon and early evening, as happened yesterday.

    Egyptian journalist Lina El Wardani

    tweets: The navy here in Alexandria is strict not allowing photos or mentioning names of candidates at some polling stations #egypreselex

    Esmat Hanem Amin in Cairo

    emails: I am proud of the Egyptian people, proud to take part in today's election. I am full of hope for the future. I am quite sure that the newly elected President is going to lead Egypt to progress and prosperity.

    Paul Danahar BBC Middle East bureau chief

    tweets: Front page of #Egyptian Gazette. They are but they should probably hurry up.

    Front page of the Egyptian Gazette

    Mohammed Amran, the head of the Egyptian Stock Exchange, denies that the exchange will be closed today, despite the decision to make today an official paid holiday for civil servants.


    BBC Arabic's Dina Demrdash in Cairo reports it is likely that voting will be extended until 21:00 (19:00 GMT) as it was yesterday. Just like yesterday, voters in different areas have complained of delays in opening voting booths, she adds.

    BBC News (World)

    tweets: Voting underway in 2nd day of Egypt's elections. Follow @jfjbowen @pdanahar @bbclysedoucet @cswift2 @matthewjbell @yolandeknell for updates


    Arab League Secretary-General Nabil al-Araby is expected to vote today at a polling station in Cairo's Zamalek district. After voting, Mr Araby will be inspecting some other polling stations. A large number of Arab League monitors from a number of Arab countries are observing the elections.

    Aljazeera producer @adamakary

    tweets: The presidential electoral commission will hold a press conference tonight at 8pm in downtown Cairo #Egypt


    Hatem Bagato of the electoral commission tells the BBC: "The electoral process is going very well until now, and we have not received any complaints about breaches or violations that would affect the process greatly." Human rights organisations and NGOs had yesterday reported violations ranging from delays in opening voting booths to campaigning for candidates outside polling stations.


    Voter Mohammed Hassan in Cairo tells BBC Arabic: "We want a president who realises that he is responsible before God and before us and that he will be held accountable for his actions."

    Egyptian journalist Lina El Wardani

    tweets: Ahmed Shafiq and Mohamed Mursi candidates posters in Alexandria #egypreselex

    Candidates posters in Alexandria

    More from Hatem Bagato, secretary-general of the election commission, on the counting procedure: "As soon as the ballot boxes are sealed, the process of counting will begin in the polling stations, where the result will be told to the representatives of the candidates, with media organisations present. The results will then be sent to the central authority in Cairo, which will have the role of declaring the official result next Tuesday. The announcement will be preceded by a period where candidates may appeal the results." Mr Bagato also told the BBC that individual polling stations are expected to announce their results late tonight or tomorrow morning.

    Aljazeera producer @adamakary

    tweets: From low turnout to no turnout. Are we even having elections? I know Suez is small but isn't today off? Guess it's still too hot for voters


    The interior ministry has given notice of the first election-related death. The 72-year-old man was heading to the polling station at al-Jalaa school in Cairo's al-Dhaher district with his friends to vote, suddenly felt very sick, and died in front of the station, according to the ministry.

    PRI Correspondent Matthew Bell

    tweets: Mother and son vote today in Nasr City, outside Cairo, #Egypt

    Mother and son vote in Nasr City

    General Sami Anan, deputy-president of the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (Scaf), is inspecting a number of polling stations in the al-Khalifa district of Cairo.

    Cairo wire journalist Samer Al-Atrush

    tweets: Given Egypt's chronic and mysterious fuel problems, longer lines at gas stations than at polling stations


    Former US President Jimmy Carter, who is in Egypt as an election monitor, has met Archbishop Pachomios, the acting head of Egypt's Coptic Church, this morning at Saint Mark's Coptic Cathedral in Cairo's Abbasiyya district. Archbishop Pachomios said that he and Mr Carter discussed the elections, the future of Egypt, the election of a new Coptic Pope (after the death of Pope Shenouda III in March), and relations between Muslims and Christians in Egypt.

    Al Jazeera's Rawya Rageh

    tweets: I was gonna complain abt how hot #Suez is, then heard reporter in #Qena say it's 50 degrees there. Real test to voters! #Egypt #EgyPresElex

    Paul Danahar BBC Middle East bureau chief

    tweets: I've come back to same #Cairo polling station. Out of 6500 registered voters they got 1700 yesterday. #Egypt

    Cairo polling station

    More on the counting procedure after polls close: The state-run Mena news agency is quoting a source at the election commission as saying that counting will start half an hour after ballot boxes are sealed.


    The Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, have said they are holding a press conference on Thursday evening where they due to announce "early indications of the presidential election results", according to the FJP.

    Paul Danahar BBC Middle East bureau chief

    tweets: In Garden City polling station they've clocked total of 50% of their 3000 registered voters. 8 hours to go #Egypt

    Garden city polling station, Egypt

    Election commission Secretary-General Hatem Bagato says that voting on Thursday has so far been "organised and calm", and that voting hours have been extended to 21:00 (19:00 GMT).


    There have been reports that Ahmed Shafiq has been winning many votes from Egypt's Coptic Christian community, many of whom are nervous at the prospect of an Islamist president. Maryan Girguis Saad, a Coptic voter in North Cairo, tells the Egypt Independent newspaper that she just cast her ballot for Shafiq. "The church priest and monks gave [us] instructions on Wednesday to vote for Ahmed Shafiq, as they consider him the best candidate," she tells the paper.

    Kristen Chick

    Cairo correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor, tweets: I just spent 4.5 hours interviewing people in Imbaba, and the number of them voting for Sabbahi and Shafiq is astonishing

    Yolande Knell BBC Middle East online reporter

    The long lines outside polling stations that we visited in central Cairo yesterday have now disappeared. "It's because we're much more organised than yesterday," said a judge in Garden City. He says turnout here has already reached 50% and he is bracing himself for a rush when people vote after work.

    Eman Saad in Cairo

    emails: This is the first time Egypt will have an elected president. The first time people will practice their own right to choose their own president who represents their opportunity to have a dignified life.

    Yolande Knell BBC Middle East online reporter

    In Cairo's Mohandiseen district, men are having to wait just a few minutes before casting their ballots. "In the past year, we've developed a good system," says a friendly police officer managing security. "The Egyptian people are really fast learners." Voter Omar Adel says: "I came at this time because I knew it would be quieter. All my family came yesterday."

    Al Jazeera's @adamakary

    tweets: Report by April 6 Movement: The buses transporting voters in Minya to vote for Morsi belong to #Minya University whose president is an FJP secretary #Egypt


    BBC Arabic's Dina Demrdash reports that military police cars are roaming the port city of Alexandria to urge people to cast their ballots. The turnout in Alexandria is reportedly less than on Wednesday. Alexandria is Egypt's second biggest city, and known to be a stronghold for both the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafist movement.

    Refaat Asr in Cairo

    I am proud that I have been witnessing this historic Election Day. I and my family just came back from voting. It was quiet, well-organised and secure. Egyptians are choosing their leader for the first time in a few thousand years. It is a great feeling!

    Ahmed Shams in Alexandria

    I can't believe that I finally voted to choose my president - this is a historical day for me. I voted for Amr Moussa but I don't care who will be president because if he doesn't rule fairly, he will be out after four years.


    BBC Arabic's Dina Demrdash reports that a war of rumours is evolving between two presidential contenders affiliated with the old regime; Amr Moussa and Ahmed Shafiq.

    The campaign of Moussa, former chief of the Arab League, is inviting different media outlets to interview him at his campaign HQ in an obvious bid to gain exposure and attention before the end of the second day of voting.

    The campaign also circulated news that Shafiq, ex-prime minister during the last days of ousted president Mubarak, will pull out of the race in favour of Moussa.

    The online news network Rasd said that it received a call from Moussa's campaign officials saying that they were waiting for Shafiq to pull out. The rumour was swiftly denied by Shafiq's campaign.

    Shafiq's campaign hit back by circulating rumours that Moussa intends to withdraw from the race for not getting enough votes so far.

    Hend Fathy Shaaban in Alexandria

    emails: Today is the first time most Egyptian youths like myself will vote in the presidential elections. We are very hopeful for a better tomorrow, yet very worried about the result and people's reaction to it, because we have not practiced democracy for generations.

    Google's Gabriel Koehler-Derrick

    explains via a blog post on the Arabist how the search engine giant has been tracking the election candidates. Mr Koehler-Derrick writes: "Of course, simply 'googling' a candidate is hardly an endorsement. But given the confusing series of legal rulings that have dramatically impacted the field of candidates, one of the largest challenges facing each of the contenders is name recognition. For example, although they are technically candidates, search data suggests that Abdullah al-Ashal, Hossam Khayr Allah, Muammad Fawzi al-Aysa, Mahmoud Hossam al-Din Galal, and Abu Ez al-Hariri, are all virtually unknown outside of the capital."

    Al Jazeera's Evan Hill

    tweets: Turnout (in Haram part of Giza) is lower than i saw in more central Cairo yday but still a reg flow and full ballot boxes.

    Laila Attalla

    tweets: I'm sorry, I feel like I betrayed my principles right now by going to vote... :S I was walking in the street hiding my purple finger... :(


    BBC Arabic's Abubakr Al-Shamahi reports that the Ministry of Health has announced that four new injury cases were reported during the second day of the presidential elections.

    It said in a statement that two people were taken to hospital, and two other cases were given first aid at the polling stations.

    The total number of people injured since the start of the elections is now 39, 30 of whom were taken to hospital, while nine were given first aid treatment at the polling stations, it said.


    Egyptian voters have been telling BBC Online what the elections mean to them, among them Ahmed Sherif Soufi in Giza: "I am really proud to be a part of this - and proud of finally being able to get my voice heard. Of course, it is important not to forget our martyrs - we wouldn't be in this situation if they hadn't acted."


    In an interview with the BBC, front-runner and former Foreign Minister Amr Moussa has denied what he called "sinister rumours" that he is about to withdraw. He also launched an angrily worded attack on fellow candidate, ex-Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq. A war of rumours has been developing between the Moussa and Shafiq campaigns this afternoon over the possibility of one or other them withdrawing.

    AP journalist in Cairo, Sarah El Deeb,

    tweets: Despite excitement, ppl appear elex burned out. Some r holding out for rerun! #EgyPresElex

    Guardian journalist Abdel-Rahman Hussein

    tweets: We have some serious catfighting between Moussa and Shafik, both asking the other to withdraw and claiming the other is losing badly

    Yolande Knell BBC Middle East online reporter

    tweets: Accusations of irregularities mount between political campaigns especially #AboulFotoh, #Mursi and #Shafiq in #Egyelection


    Eight Egyptian revolutionary youth movements announced that they would go to Tahrir Square in Cairo, centre of the country's protest movement, on Thursday to wait for the results of the presidential elections, according to the website of the Egyptian Al-Masry al-Yawm newspaper.

    "We will celebrate if one of the revolutionary candidates wins, however we will carry out another revolution in case one of the ex-regime remnants wins. We will not allow any sort of election fraud," Amr Abd-al-Hadi, the spokesman of the Free Front of Change movement, told the paper.

    Egyptian blogger Wael Ghonim

    tweets a link to this picture: Only in #Egypt, a bride and a groom voting before their wedding party :)

    Hannah Allam, journalist

    tweets: Enlightening day in remote Qena villages, where voters are openly challenging tribal authority & voting for candidates not endorsed by clans

    Journalist Ashraf Khalil

    writes in this article on the Foreign Policy website about Egyptian opinion polls: "Despite all the time, manpower, and funding being devoted to tracking Egyptian voters, nobody really has any idea who is going to win this election. After all, how do you scientifically predict the behaviour of an electorate that's suddenly drowning in choices and seemingly can't make up its mind?"

    International Committee of the Red Cross

    tweets: MT @icrc_arabic: #RedCrescent volunteers standing by in case there is any need for first aid: #Egypt #Election


    In this picture, a man whose son was killed during the revolution sits outside his tent in Tahrir Square. A poster for Hamdeen Sabbahi, the favoured candidate of many of the protestors, is on the tent behind him.

    A man whose son was killed during the revolution sits outside his tent in Tahrir Square

    Opposition politician and former presidential candidate Mohammed El-Baradei has told the Associated Press that Egypt still "has a long road to cross." While celebrating the fact that the outcome of the poll was not known in advance - "the first ever in the Arab world I can recall" - Mr Baradei added: "I think the most crucial factor is to get Egyptians to understand that they need to agree on the basic common values that they're going to live under for the future," urging Egypt's future leadership to focus on formulating a new constitution.

    Amr ElGabry

    tweets: If Mubarak had asked for elections back in #jan25 many Egyptians would had actually voted for him. Don't be surprised about Shafiq voters


    Nasserist candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi has told the Reuters news agency that he thinks that "so far the elections have been free from violence or fraud".

    "I think that irregularities are limited. We hope that [the irregularities] do not increase, and that what happened yesterday and this morning is brought under control," Mr Sabbahi said.

    He added that his team thought that "God willing, [we] are amongst those who will go into the run-off," though he has not been seen as a frontrunner in the race.

    Issandr El Amrani

    blogs on the Arabist site: Egypt may have a new president by the end of June but there will be plenty of confusion about what powers he has, and who's really in charge.


    That concludes our live page covering the second day of Egypt's historic presidential elections. Final results of the poll are expected on Tuesday 29 May, and we will have full coverage here on the BBC website.


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