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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 September 2005, 11:24 GMT 12:24 UK
Press hopes, doubts over Egypt poll

Papers in Egypt and the Arab world welcome Egypt's first-ever contested presidential election, hailing it as a beginning on the road to democracy.

Some commentators argue that although incumbent President Hosni Mubarak is almost certain to win, the country will never be the same.

Others are more sceptical, seeing little real change on the cards as yet.

Editorial in Egypt's pro-government Al-Ahram

Today's elections will not be the end of the journey but rather a starting point to complete our democratic process and support its consolidation... Our slogan is go and vote!

>Mahmud Sulayman in Egypt's opposition Al-Wafd

After 1,000 years of waiting, our day has finally come.

Sulayman Jawdah in Egypt's independent Al-Misri al-Yawm

The name of the winner in today's presidential election is not important. It is the idea that will win, not a person. The country will win, not so-and-so... Hosni Mubarak is not the man we have known for the past 24 years.

Amir Salim in Egypt's opposition Al-Ghad

How can one think that this regime will suddenly change into a democratic regime that respects people's freedoms and rights? ... We want to tell the authorities that even the drivers of taxis and mini-buses and street vendors in Egypt will not believe you. Say whatever you want, we will understand it our own way.

Atif al-Ghumri in the UAE's Al-Khalij

Egypt will no longer be the same after these elections ... Today's elections will take place in a climate where the word 'reform' will no longer be a preposterous demand.

Sati Nur al-Din in Lebanon's Al-Safir

Finally, a multi-candidate presidential election that meets and satisfies all democratic principles... This is the only safety valve for Egypt.

Muhammad Kharrub in Jordan's Al-Ra'y

7 September 2005 will make history in Egypt because it is the first time ever that Egyptians hold free and direct elections... The policy of inherited presidency is over and will only be part of the past.

Hasan al-Batal in Palestinian Al-Ayyam

There will be no more army barracks or republican family lineage under the Egyptian parliament's dome. Tomorrow's Egypt will be a civilian society and not a military one. Nasser started the national revolution, and Sadat ignited the political revolution. Mubarak, for his part, is launching a democratic revolution.

Abed al-Munim Said in Palestinian Al-Quds

What is evident is that economic issues - especially unemployment, inflation, poverty and education - are at the top of the Egyptian people's list of interests. What is important is to review Mubarak's policies against the background of policies suggested by the other contenders. Unfortunately, this is hardly happening, and no-one comments on these important issues.

Editorial in Algeria's La Tribune

Today, Egypt will for the first time ever elect its president based on universal suffrage. That is the only novelty in this vote, in which nothing is at stake, since the outcome has been known by all Egyptians since the announcement of Mubarak's candidacy for a fifth term to be ordained "emperor" of the republic.

Hasan Nafa't in London-based Al-Hayat

Egypt today will hold its first-ever multi-candidate presidential elections. However, we do not expect any significant changes in the current political system since the election result is already pre-determined.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaus abroad.

Guide to Egypt's election
02 Sep 05 |  Middle East

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