Turnout low in Egypt vote pitting Islamist against ally of Mubarak

Brotherhood says its candidate won

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Others enthusiastically backed Mr. Morsi.

“He and the Brotherhood speak in an Islamic voice, and they talk about the kind of strong, religious country I want,” said Adel Mohamed, 31, a snack-bar chef who lives in Cairo.

Mr. Shafiq has based his campaign on the promise of restoring order and stability. Throughout a transitional period overseen by the military council, security has been largely ineffective in the streets. Crime rates are up, tourism is down, and political instability keeps investors away - worsening economic hardship.

Mr. Shafiq also draws a wide base of support from those who resist rule by Islamic law.

Shafiq is the best man for this time,” said Bishoy George, a 23-year old Coptic Christian and computer engineer from Maadi in the southern part of Cairo.

“He knows how to restore security, and we need that for tourism and the economy,” Mr. George said. “That should be Egypt’s priority like it is for other countries [instead of] religion.”

Many others, like Mohamed Hassan Mursi, boycotted the election, complaining about the choice of the two candidates.

“It’s like someone is inviting you for lunch, and he offers you a dish that looks bad and another that smells worse. I’m choosing not to eat,” he said, sitting in a Cairo cafe.

Mr. Mursi, who also noted that his name is similar to the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, said people are voting in a “false game” and that the election process is “rigged from the start.”

“It’s impossible for Morsi to win, and I would actually feel scared if he did,” he said.

Shafiq will have all the state apparatus behind him, [and] Morsi will only work for his own group.”

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