Egyptians head to polls in election overshadowed by Gaza war
Egyptians headed to the polls on Sunday for a presidential election in which Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is poised to win a third term in power as the country grapples with an economic crisis and a war on its border with Gaza.
Victory would hand Sisi a six-year term in which immediate priorities would be taming near-record inflation, managing a chronic foreign currency shortage and preventing spillover from the conflict between Israel and Gaza's Hamas rulers.
Voting, which runs from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. (0700-1900 GMT), is spread over three days, with results due to be announced on Dec. 18.
As voting began on Sunday morning, small crowds gathered at polling stations in Cairo, where pictures of Sisi have proliferated in the weeks leading up to the election. Riot police were deployed at entrances to Tahrir Square in the centre of the capital.
Critics see the election as a sham after a decade-long crackdown on dissent. The government's media body has called it a step towards political pluralism.