Egypt faces stark choice in presidential poll

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Egypt faces stark choice in presidential poll

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Egyptians are continuing to vote in the first free presidential election in their history, making what many find to be an unpalatable choice.

The head to head pits a military man who served deposed autocrat Hosni Mubarak against an Islamist who says he is running for God.

Ex-air force commander Ahmed Shafik, 70, Mubarak’s prime minister in the last days of his rule, surged from outsider status and into the run-off. If he wins, it means that despite the Arab Spring, a man steeped in military tradition will be back in charge, just like every president since the monarchy ended in 1953.

His rival, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsy, paints himself as a revolutionary although Egypt’s uprising was driven initially by the secular, urban middle class.

The head of Egypt’s ruling military council, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, has formally ordered parliament’s dissolution, reports say. That is in line with a court ruling which Islamists, who dominate the assembly, condemn as a coup by the generals who took control when Mubarak was ousted.