The coverage of the first day of voting in the runoff round of Egypt's presidential elections has taken up most of the attention of Egypt's Sunday newspapers. The runoff round sees a fierce competition
between Mubarak's last prime minister Ahmed Shafiq, and the Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi.
Most of the newspapers, whether independent or state-run, have maintained neutrality between the two candidates. The state-run al-Ahram newspaper issued a report about the voting details of both candidates. Ahram reported that Shafiq entered his electoral station from a back door to avoid standing amongst the electorate, as several citizens had thrown shoes at him with when he cast his vote in the first round, while Morsi voted in his home town of Zagazig city, when during his time at the polling station, he reiterated his pledge to hold accountable those who were responsible for killing the martyrs of the revolution and injuring others. He added that Egyptians will choose their president of their own free will, and will resume their revolution.
Another state-run newspaper, al-Akhbar, highlighted an incident of an official working in an electoral station in Hurghada, who refused to let the governor of the Red Sea governorate cast his vote because he forgot his identity card. The newspaper said the governor, Mahmoud Assem, accepted the decision of the official and returned home to collect it before returning to vote.
The al-Gomhouria newspaper described the turnout of the first day of voting as "average", and referred to the decision of the Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission to extend the voting process for one more hour to be end at 9 pm local time instead of 8 pm.
The headlines of the independent newspaper al-Dostour described Egypt as "a bride wearing a black dress". The newspaper quoted a citizen saying this prior to casting his vote in Cairo. This description reflects the feeling of a large sector of the Egyptian electorate who found themselves forced to choose between two candidates they didn't want to vote for. Al-Doustor quoted another citizen saying that "the happiness of the Egyptians has turned to grief after the first round."
"We have to choose between the hegemony of the Brotherhood or the hegemony of the former regime," said the citizen.
Al-Masri al-Youm, another independent newspaper, blamed high temperatures for the relatively weak turnout in the first day. The newspaper said that some of the voters looked convinced of their candidate, while others said they were forced to vote for "the more sustainable candidate", as they were not convinced of either of them.