Egypt elections - Reuters - May 23 2012
A man looking for his name before casting his vote at a polling station during presidential elections in Alexandria, 230 km north of Cairo May 23, 2012 Photo by Reuters
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Here is a timeline of events in Egypt since protests against former President Hosni Mubarak began.

January 25, 2011 - Anti-government protests begin across Egypt following the

January 14 overthrow of Tunisia's president in the first of a series of Arab uprisings.

January 28 - Mubarak orders troops and tanks into cities to quell demonstrations. Thousands cheer at news of intervention of the army, which is widely seen as a neutral force in politics, unlike police who are regularly deployed to stifle dissent.

January 31 - New government is sworn in. New vice-president, Omar Suleiman, hitherto intelligence chief, says Mubarak has asked him to start dialogue with political forces.

February 1 - More than a million people around Egypt call for an end to Mubarak's rule.

 February 4  - Thousands gather in Cairo's Tahrir Square in a "Day of Departure" to press Mubarak to go.

 February 1 0 - Mubarak  says national dialogue under way, transfers powers to vice-president.

February 11 - Mubarak steps down and a military council led by Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein takes over.

February 22 - Tantawi swears in new cabinet but Muslim Brotherhood and others want it purged of Mubarak's ministers.

March 3 - Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq resigns and military asks former Transport Minister Essam Sharaf to form cabinet.

March 19 - Big majority of Egyptians approves amendments to the constitution in referendum. The amendments are designed to pave way for parliamentary and presidential elections.

March 23 - Egypt approves law easing curbs that choked political life under Mubarak.

April 8 - Thousands protest in Tahrir Square against delays in putting Mubarak on trial.

August 3 - Mubarak trial opens. Wheeled into a courtroom cage lying on a bed, Mubarak denies charges of ordering the killing protesters and other abuses of power.

October 9/10 - Coptic Christians turn their fury on the army after at least 25 Christians are killed when troops break up a protest. Tension between Muslims and minority Christians is not new but has heightened since the anti-Mubarak revolt.

November 18 - Thousands of people, frustrated with military rule, protest in Tahrir Square and in other cities.

November 21 - Sharaf's cabinet resigns.

November 22 - Tantawi promises that a civilian president will be elected in June 2012, six months sooner than the army had planned. Tantawi confirms parliamentary elections will begin on November 28 as planned.

November 25 - Thousands demanding an end to military rule pack Tahrir Square in the biggest turnout of a week of protests and violence that has killed 42 people.

- Military council names Kamal Ganzouri to head a national salvation cabinet. He had served as prime minister under Mubarak from 1996 to 1999.

November 28 - First voting in election for the lower house. The staggered election runs through January.

December 23 - Thousands of Egyptians rally in Cairo and other cities to demand that the military give up power, and vent their anger after 17 people are killed in days of protests.

December 28 - Mubarak's trial resumes after a two-month recess.

December 30 - Egyptian police raid U.S.-backed pro-democracy groups, drawing criticism from Washington which hints it could review its annual $1.3 billion of military aid to Egypt.

January 3-4, 2012 - Third and final round of election for the lower house. Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party takes more than two-fifths of the seats, followed by an ultra-orthodox Salafi Islamist party with more than a fifth.

January 14 - Former International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei pulls out of the race to become president, saying "the previous regime" is still running the country.

January 16 - Egypt says it has asked the IMF for $3.2 billion in support as the country tries to fill a budget gap widened by almost a year of political and economic turmoil.

January 23 - Lower house of parliament holds its first session. Voting for the upper house starts in February.

March 10 - Doors open for hopefuls seeking to run in Egypt's first presidential election since Mubarak was ousted.

April 17 - Ten candidates are disqualified from the presidential race, including Mubarak's former spy chief Omar Suleiman and Muslim Brotherhood politician Khairat al-Shater. The Brotherhood fields reserve candidate Mohamed Mursi.

April 26 - Egypt's election committee says Ahmed Shafiq, Mubarak's last prime minister, can run for president after all, two days after it had disqualified him.

May 2 - Eleven people are killed in clashes between anti-army protesters and unidentified armed men. Clashes erupt again two days later and one soldier is killed. Army imposes curfew on affected area around the Defence Ministry.

May 10 - Former Arab League chief Amr Moussa and moderate Islamist Abdel Moneim Abol Fotouh face off in Egypt's first presidential television debate.

May 23 and 24 - First round of presidential election. Unless a candidate gains more than 50 percent of the vote, the two top vote-getters will contest a run-off on June 16 and 17.