Egypt’s military ruler Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi urged citizens on Wednesday to vote in next week’s presidential election, vowing a fair poll that will serve as an example to the world.
Tantawi, who took power when president Hosni Mubarak was ousted by a popular uprising last year, called on Egyptians to “shoulder their national responsibility in the presidential election and choose a president for Egypt,” the official MENA news agency reported.
“Egypt will offer an example to the world of free and fair presidential elections that (reflect) the will of the people,” Tantawi said.
The country’s first contested presidential election comes after 15 tumultuous months of political upheaval following the popular revolt launched on January 25, 2011.
Thirteen candidates are vying for the top job in the May 23-24 election, including former Arab League chief Amr Mussa and Ahmed Shafiq, the last prime minister under Mubarak.
The two secular candidates face competition from the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Mursi and moderate Islamist Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh.
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, headed by Tantawi, has vowed to hand power over to civilian rule once a president has been elected.