Voting is under way in Egypt’s first free parliamentary elections in 60 years, yet another stage in the transition that began when Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, was toppled in a popular uprising in February.

This is the first of three rounds of voting to elect the lower house of parliament, a process that will take six weeks followed by shura, or upper house elections, in January.

The polling follows days of unrest in which more than forty people have been killed and thousands injured.

The protestors in Tahrir square and other parts of the country are demanding the Supreme Council of Armed Forces, (SCAF) to hand over power to a civilian government.

Some are arguing the elections themselves are tainted by ongoing military rule, while others insist that the process is a way of restoring civilian rule.

So, what powers will the new parliament have? Is the military helping or subverting this transition to a real democracy?

Inside Story presenter Mike Hanna, discusses with guests: Ezzedine Choukri Fishere, a novelist and a professor of political science at the American University in Cairo; Emad Mohsen, a former media consultant to the former Egyptian minister of transport, and founder of the silent majority movement; and Wael Khalil, an Egyptian activist and blogger.

Source: Al Jazeera