Egyptians began voting today to determine who will be the first president in the post-Mubarak era, but the mood is anything but celebratory. This week's stunning move by military leaders to dissolve parliament and essentially consolidate power has overshadowed the race between the two candidates, which is in itself what the Washington Post calls a "polarizing choice." Voters will pick either former Mubarak Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq or Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi.
"We are in a total mess," Nobel laureate Mohamed ElBardei tells the Guardian. "We are going to elect a president in the next couple of days without a constitution and without a parliament. He will be a new emperor, holding both legislative and executive authority and with the right to enact laws and even amend the constitution as he sees fit." The New York Times' David Kirkpatrick sees it a little differently, writing that the winner will initially "compete with the generals for power and influence." Voting ends tomorrow.