With thousands of Egyptians living abroad casting their votes, and citizens in Egypt still debating who they will vote for, presidential candidates are utilising a wide variety of means to convince voters that they are the best choice.
Egyptians living abroad began voting May 11th and will continue until May 17th. Voting in Egypt will occur on May 23rd and 24th.
Last Thursday (May 10th), millions of viewers watched the nation's first televised debate between presidential candidates.
Although thirteen candidates are competing in Egypt's presidential election race, only Dr. Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, a former Muslim Brotherhood leader, and Amr Moussa, the former secretary-general of the Arab League, were selected to participate after they emerged as the early leaders in recent public opinion polls.
During the debate, Aboul Fotouh said he dreams of a democratic state in which the dignity of citizens is preserved and the aspirations of the January revolution are preserved. Moussa said he wants to establish a state that responds to the demands and dreams of its people in achieving democracy, freedom and prosperity.
"The debate played a positive role in the electoral process, enabling a large segment of the population to learn in detail how the most popular candidates in the presidential race think," said journalist Emad al-Din Hussein.
He said the debate gave Egyptians a great sense of self-confidence and made them believe they are the "real rulers". Many voters sat in front of the television to watch two candidates "stand on their feet for over three hours and talk about their platforms, health, and financial situation to solicit votes".
Over the past two months, candidates have used a variety of methods to reach the more than 50 million voters in 26 provinces.
Campaigns are organising street rallies, creating websites and setting up huge screens in the streets to display candidate information.
Several campaigns are providing dedicated hotlines that offer information about a candidate's platform, his itinerary, and details about how to volunteer or donate to the campaign.
Candidates are also soliciting help from prominent artists to speak out on their behalf.
Mohamed Saeed Khattab, a 33-year-old engineer, said he and his wife watch television from 8 pm until midnight every day to follow the candidates.
He told Al-Shorfa that one of his favourite programmes is "Egypt Elects a President," on the Egyptian CBC channel, in which candidates discuss issues with a large panel of political, security, economic, health and education experts for four hours.
"I feel that they are testing the candidate, and I will decide the results of the test by voting on election day," he said.
In a cafe in Giza province, several customers smoked shisha and watched a televised interview with presidential candidate and former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq.
Rami Uthman, 26, said the election is a daily source of concern for him because he has not settled on a candidate.
"Some of the candidates' platforms are similar. I try to watch television from time to time to settle on a candidate but they all excel at talking and it is really hard to make a decision," he told Al-Shorfa.
"I do not want to choose a candidate who will take us back to the Mubarak era, and this is a priority," he said.
Mustafa Naggar, a political analyst and member of the People's Assembly, told Al-Shorfa the silent majority will decide the election and no one knows where it currently stands.
"Mass media will play the biggest role in diminishing or raising the popularity of the candidates, and the candidates will not be able to rectify any error they make in the final days of the race because voters are knowledgeable about their platforms," he said.