06/16/2011 06:05 pm ET Updated Aug 17, 2011

Bothaina Kamel, Egypt Presidential Candidate, Is First Woman To Seek Role

CAIRO -- On May 25, 2005, in a nearly empty polling station, Bothaina Kamel cast her vote on the referendum to amend the Egyptian Constitution to allow for the country's first contested presidential elections. That evening she faced a studio camera, presenting the news on state television, declaring that the referendum witnessed a record turnout.

The vote that day had been marred by violence by security forces against protesters denouncing the facade of greater political participation -- something that was not mentioned in the broadcast. The constitutional amendment, detractors said, outlined standards so stringent that the ruling party would choose its opposition in presidential elections.

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