Fears over 'disappearing ink' in Egypt voting booths

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Fears over 'disappearing ink' in Egypt voting booths

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The decision by Egypt’s Supreme Court to dissolve parliament has led to fears that elements of the old regime are trying to cling onto power.

There are reports of arrests outside at least one polling station. In some areas there is a clear lack of confidence in the voting process – and in particular the pens provided to cast ballots.

“So far things are going well, but people are worried,” said one supporter of Ahmed Shafiq in a Cairo polling station. “There was a rumour that there are pens whose ink disappears after one hour. Then people insist on using their own pens but the strict rule is you must use the pen provided inside.”

Another woman said Egypt needed a civil state, not one where religion and politics got mixed up.

That had turned everything upside down, she said.

Final results are not due until June 21, with many in Egypt uneasy at a choice between two candidates they argue represent the extremes.

Our correspondent in Cairo Riad Muasses said:

“This rivalry between Shafiq and Morsi is the other side of the battle between the military council and supporters of the old regime on the one hand, and the Islamists and supporters of the revolution on the other. But the battle won’t end if one of them wins.”