Egyptians are at the polls to begin a three-day voting process to select a new president. Current President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is being touted as the favorite.
Egypt has a population of just under 90 million people. Approximately 60 million are eligible to vote at the 9:00 a.m. start. The Egyptian Government mounted an aggressive campaign urging citizens to vote in order to boost numbers at the polls.
Critics have largely said the numbers could be much lower than 2014, when al-Sisi won almost 97 percent of the votes. The figure would, according to CNBC, be adversely affected by austerity reforms as well as by accusations that the president censored opponents, activists and independent media.
According to a BBC report, al-Sisi has been virtually handed a new term after the majority of the opposition candidates withdrew from the presidential race leaving little-known, Mousa Mostafa Mousa.
The streets of Cairo are littered with campaign banners and posters of el-Sisi. The challenger is also a staunch supporter of the president, stating that he would support the leader's reelection.
At least two former candidates have cited intimidation as the reason for their withdrawals.
There have also been reports of voters being intimidated to donning party paraphernalia to show support for the president as well as some incidents of vote-buying, The Guardian has reported.
The former defense minister first came to power after a military coup, that ousted Mohammed Morsi in 2013, then through an election in 2014. Morsi was elected following the resignation of ex-President Hosni Mubarak, who held office for three decades.
Egyptian interior ministry claimed that police killed six militants suspected of attempting to assassinate a security chief.