Nov. 28 - The Arab League Secretary General, Nabil al-Araby, and Presidential hopeful, Amr Moussa, are among the early voters as Egypt’s landmark parliamentary elections get underway. Nick Rowlands reports.
The Secretary General of the Arab League, Nabil al-Araby, casts his vote in Cairo on the first day of Egypt's parliamentary election. The landmark poll is the first since a popular uprising swept Hosni Mubarak from power in February. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) ARAB LEAGUE SECRETARY GENERAL NABIL AL-ARABY, SAYING: "Everyone must vote because this is a national duty and we are entering a new phase and God willing, the results will be positive so the country can live a democratic life in the future." Presidential hopeful Amr Moussa says it's the beginning of democracy in action. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, AMR MOUSSA, SAYING: "Well, after the elections you will have a parliament, you will have your deputies that you have elected yourself, but if you want to go to Tahrir and express another point of view why not? This has to be a free country, but disciplined also." Voters in Cairo's working class area of Sayyeda Zeinab - many of whom had waited from early in the morning - hope the vote will not be tainted by allegations of fraud that have characterised elections in the past. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) MAN WAITING TO VOTE, HURREYA IBRAHIM AL-SAWWAF, SAYING: "These elections, honestly, people are coming to them in force, and as you see they've been here since seven in the morning. But, before, in the last elections, the only people who would go were those who had election cards, and of course mainly those who belonged to the previous regime. But those who didn't have election cards, there was no way they could get in, and there were thugs standing at the door to kick them out." The vote takes place in the wake of violence between protesters and security forces in which dozens have been killed and thousands wounded. Security around the country is tight. Some activists have called for a boycott of the vote, although a large turnout is expected. The vote is staggered over the coming weeks, meaning the lower house elections will not be complete until January next year. Nick Rowlands, Reuters.