Egyptians have begun voting in the first stage of elections for the upper house of parliament, the advisory Shura Council.
Islamist candidates are looking to build on earlier victories in the lower house, the People's Assembly.
The Shura Council is an advisory body, but its members along with those of the People's Assembly will choose a panel to draft Egypt's new constitution.
The Shura Council election takes place over two stages. The first stage -- on January 29 and 30 -- involves 13 provinces and includes the cities of Cairo and Alexandria. The second phase, on February 14, involves Egypt's remaining 14 provinces.
Two-thirds of the Shura's 180 elected members will be determined through a party-list system. Sixty members are to be elected directly.
compiled from agency reports