Egyptians are voting in parliamentary elections amid accusations that the poll has been sullied by fraud and intimidation.
Opposition groups have accused the ruling party of using heavy handed methods to suppress those against the rule of President Hosni Mubarak, in power since 1981.
Egypt has rejected international election monitors claiming their presence interferes in the states internal affairs.
Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif:
“The government maintains security in all the polling stations and the Higher Election Commission gave complete freedom for voters to choose their candidates.”
Observers say elections in the country are often marked by vote rigging and violence.
The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s biggest opposition party, have clashed with police during the campaign and allege that as many as 1,200 of its supporters have been taken into custody.
Euronews correspondent in Cairo, Mohamed Elhamy says:
“While the Muslim Brotherhood claims the election is rigged the ruling party says the vote is free and fair. What is clear is that this election is a warm up for the presidential one to come.Now that will decide the political landscape of Egypt for many years to come.”