Click left to right for photos of the five main candidates.
Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh
Paediatrician; Secretary General of the Arab Medical Union (2004-present); member of the Muslim Brotherhood Guidance Bureau (1987-2009)
A former hardline Islamist who has refashioned himself as the moderate choice for Egypt, Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh has drawn support from groups across the political spectrum, including conservative Salafists and liberals. He broke away from the Muslim Brotherhood last year after announcing he would run for the presidency against the group's policy at the time. His agenda contains multiple references to Islamic principles, but many Egyptians see him as the best chance for the revolutionary ideas of Tahrir to transform the government.
Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party Candidate
President of the Freedom and Justice Party (2011-present); Member of parliament (2000-2005)
A vote for Mohammed Morsi is to endorse the "renaissance" project of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the group's broad agenda to boost the economy and transform its moribund political system. Mr Morsi was originally the backup candidate for the group, but he was thrust into centre stage when Khairat Al Shater, another prominent member of the group, was disqualified from the race because of a previous criminal conviction he was handed during Mubarak's presidency. Mr Morsi is backed by the well-oiled and large Muslim Brotherhood network and has received endorsements from many influential Islamists. The Freedom and Justice Party won nearly half the seats in parliamentary elections, which suggests the party's campaigning is something to be reckoned with.
Diplomat; Secretary General of the League of Arab States (2001-2011); Minister of Foreign Affairs (1991-2001)
Despite criticism that he was a part of Hosni Mubarak's regime, Amr Moussa has emerged as a liberal front-runner for the presidency. His career as a diplomat has boosted the campaign because of a widely-held perception that Egypt needs an experienced leader to negotiate with foreign powers during a sensitive time for the country. Mr Moussa has also drawn supporters who are wary of the growing influence of Islamists in government.
Prime Minister (January 29-March 3, 2011); Minister of Civil Aviation (2002-2011); Commander of the Air Force (1996-2002)
More so than any other presidential candidate, Ahmed Shafiq represents a return to the pre-revolution status quo. He has portrayed himself as the strong hand needed to restore order after a period of chaos. Mr Shafiq makes no excuses for his service to the Mubarak regime. He appeals the most to Egyptians who feel that the last 16 months since the uprisings began in Tahrir Square have destabilised the country and led it to the brink of economic ruin. Mubarak appointed him as prime minister to appease protests last year, but he resigned just a month later after a particularly contentious talk show episode where he was harshly criticised.
Founding member of the National Association for Change; co-founder of Kefaya! movement; Member of parliament (2000-2010)
A lifelong opposition politician, Hamdeen Sabahi has fought against the totalitarian tendencies of both the Mubarak and Anwar Sadat regimes. He helped establish two groups that eventually played a pivotal role in the early days of the January 25, 2011, uprisings. A Nasserite, he envisions a country led by more socialist principles and a foreign policy that would bring Egypt back into a position of power in the region. Many artists and left-leaning Egyptians have endorsed him as the candidate to bring economic justice and end corruption.
Another eight candidates are listed on ballots for the presidential elections, though polls conducted in recent weeks suggest they are trailing the five front-runners by a considerable margin.
They include Khaled Ali, a human-rights lawyer and labour activist; Mohammed Selim Al Awa, an Islamist constitutional scholar; Hisham Bastawisi, a prominent judge; Abul-Ezz El Hariri, a socialist former member of parliament; Hossam Khairallah, a former member of Egypt's intelligence agency; and Mahmoud Hossam El Din Galal, a former state security officer.
Two others remain on the ballots but have told their supporters to vote for one of the front-runners. Abdallah Al Ashaal, a political-science professor and former diplomat, has told his supporters to vote for Mohammed Morsi. Mohammed Fawzi Eissa, a lawyer and former police officer, has endorsed Amr Moussa.