1. ITV Report

First Egyptian elections since the Arab Spring

Opposition supporters shout in their stronghold of Tahrir Square, in Cairo Photo: Reuters

Egyptians head to the polls today in the first elections to be held since Hosni Mubarak was ousted in February last year.

Mubarak was deposed as a part of the Arab Spring, a wider sweep of political reform across the Middle East.

Hosni Mubarak in February 2011 before he ceded power Credit: Reuters

It is hoped the much-anticipated vote will bring an end to the rocky transitional period that has followed the overthrow of Mubarak.

Security is tight and the army are guarding polling stations.

The landmark election should end six decades of effective military rule in Egypt, but it remains unclear how much authority the generals - who took over power from Mubarak - will cede to the elected leader.

The main questions are whether the military that has grown accustomed to power and how much it will give up to an elected leader, or if it will know how to work effectively with a civilian president if one is elected.

Guards outside a polling station in Cairo Credit: Reuters

All of Egypt's four presidents since the overthrow of the monarchy in a 1952 coup have come from the military.

The majority of voters are relishing the opportunity they have now have to choose their president.

Thirteen candidates are contesting the two-day poll, including Islamists, liberals and two with military backgrounds.

Candidates need to get more than half the votes to win, however no outright winner is expected from this two-day vote and a runoff is scheduled for June 16-17 between the two top finishers.

The final winner is expected to be announced on 21 June.