Egypt kicks off its long-awaited parliamentary elections, the final step in a process meant to put the country back on a democratic course. Pavithra George reports.
Egyptians head to the polls to cast their vote for a new parliament. The election is seen as the final step in a process meant to restore democracy...but after four years of political upheaval, the early voter turnout is low...and security...high. Still, some of those who got an early start are hoping for the best outcome. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) VOTER, NAYRA BOTROS, SAYING: "After what we've been through, we have to all come down here and unite. Even if we disagree, we can't disagree over Egypt." Egypt's had no parliament since June 2012 when a court dissolved the democratically-elected main chamber that was dominated at the time by the now banned Muslim Brotherhood. The move reversed a key accomplishment of the uprising the year before--- that toppled Hosni Mubarak. In 2013, Islamist president Mohamed Morsi was ousted and thousands of Brotherhood leaders sent to jail by then army chief and current President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. The Brotherhood, Egypt's largest opposition group, remains banned from these elections, leaving the field dominated by Sisi loyalists---and with smaller opposition parties plagued by in-fighting and funding problems, critics fear these polls will produce a parliament that will simply rubber stamp Sisi's decisions.