Voting starts in Egypt's landmark elections

By the Associated Press | November 28, 2011 | 1:15 AM EST

A protester wearing the Egyptian flag stands beneath a banner reading,"the street of free eyes," that hangs over a street where many protesters lost their eyes during clashes near Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2011. The placard in his hands reads, in Arabic, "for the sake of peace, justice shall be allowed." (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

CAIRO (AP) — Voting has begun in Egypt's first parliamentary elections since the ouster nine month ago of longtime authoritarian leader Hosni Mubarak.

The vote is a milestone many Egyptians hope will usher in a democratic age after decades of dictatorship.

But the ballot has already has been marred by turmoil in the streets, and the population is sharply polarized and confused over the nation's direction.

Still, the vote promises to be the fairest and cleanest election in Egypt in living memory.

Voters stood in long lines Monday outside some polling centers in Cairo well before they opened at 8 a.m. local time, a rare sign of interest in political participation after decades of apathy.

Mubarak was ousted in a popular uprising in February.