Nine candidates are standing against Egypt's incumbent President Mubarak, but only two are considered to have even an outside chance.
Hosni Mubarak, aged 77, is completing his fourth term as president, having been re-elected in a national referendum in September 1999. He initiated constitutional changes in February 2005 that have allowed Egypt's first multi-candidate election.
Hosni Mubarak: facing competition for the first time
Mr Mubarak was a decorated commander of the air force before his meteoric political career began. He became president after Anwar Sadat's assassination in 1981.
Standing as the ruling National Democratic Party's candidate, he has promised further constitutional and legislative reforms to strengthen democracy. He has also promised more sensitivity on human rights and to reconsider the emergency law, in place since he came to power.
Ayman Nour, the 41-year-old leader of the al-Ghad (Tomorrow) Party, has reportedly claimed that, if the elections were run fairly, he would win.
Leading challenger Ayman Nour
He formed al-Ghad in October 2004, but three months later was charged with forging documents in its application papers. The case came to court in June, when Mr Nour denied the charges, but was postponed until 25 September, enabling him to stand in the election.
Mr Nour has said he would serve as president for a two-year transitional period, during which a new constitution would be drafted. Afterwards, he would hold new elections.
Numan Gumaa, aged 71, is the leader of the al-Wafd Party. The French-educated former Cairo University law professor is a relative unknown outside the party and those who read his column in the al-Wafd newspaper.
Former Cairo University law professor Numan Gumaa
He was elected chairman of al-Wafd in 2000. His party insisted on his participation in the elections, despite his wish to boycott them.
With the campaign slogan "We have had enough", Gumaa's manifesto calls for economic liberalism, incentives to promote investment, the abolition of emergency laws, and the release of political prisoners.
OSAMA MUHAMMAD ABD-AL-SHAFI SHALTUT
Osama Shaltut, 67, leads the Solidarity Party. He is a member of Egypt's Consultative Council and a university economics lecturer.
Mr Shaltut has vowed to solve the unemployment crisis in Egypt "within a year", and to introduce legislation to hold the president to account. The new law would provide for a jail term if the president fails to implement his election manifesto.
He has also called for constitutional reforms to limit consecutive terms in the presidency to two, and reduce each term to five years.
WAHID FAKHRI AL-UQSURI
A staunch Arab nationalist, Wahid al-Uqsuri, 52, has attempted to sue Arab leaders in Egyptian courts for failing to live up to the aspirations of the Arab nation.
Mr Uqsuri spent most of his life in the army, which he left with the rank of colonel. He then joined the Egyptian Arab Socialist Party in 1995, becoming its leader two years later.
If elected, Mr Uqsuri has promised the direct election of the Grand Sheikh of the al-Azhar Mosque, one of the Islamic world's most senior theologians, and the abolition of the law allowing the imprisonment of journalists for libel.
IBRAHIM MUHAMMAD ABDEL MUNEM TURK
At 48, Ibrahim Turk is one of the youngest candidates in the presidential race.
Before switching to politics he was a businessman. Mr Turk became leader of the Democratic Union Party in 1994.
Although economic development is the main focus of his manifesto, he has also called for local government reform and strict penalties on administrative violations.
AHMAD AL-SABAHI AWAD ALLAH KHALIL
Ahmad al-Sabahi is the leader of the Umma Party. At 90, he is the oldest presidential candidate.
After predicting he would win the elections with 95% of the vote, Mr Sabahi has reportedly insisted on people calling him "Mr President".
Mr Sabahi has promised to implement Islamic Sharia law and make men wear the traditional fez hat. He has vowed to abolish the emergency law and to fight against corruption.
RIFAAT MUHAMMAD AL-AGRUDI
Rifaat al-Agrudi, aged 63, is the leader of the National Concord Party. He was active in the student movement in the 1960s and 1970s.
Mr Agrudi is a Nasirite - a follower of the political principles or policies of the late Egyptian President Gamal Abdul Nasser. He is highly critical of "US hegemony", its presence in Iraq, and its support for Israel.
He plans to ease Egypt's high levels of unemployment, halt privatisation, repeal the emergency law, and to improve education.
FAWZI KHALIL MUHAMMAD GHAZAL
Fawzi Ghazal, the 73-year-old leader of the Misr (Egypt) 2000 Party, was active in politics before and after the officers' coup that overthrew the monarchy in 1952.
Mr Ghazal then worked in Libya for many years. After returning, he founded the Misr 2000 Party.
In addition to reducing unemployment and speeding up development, Mr Ghazal's manifesto includes constitutional reforms to give more power to the People's Assembly, or parliament, and to create a Senate, or upper house. He also promises full freedom of the media.
Lawyer Mamduh Qinawi, in his late sixties, is the leader of the Constitutional Party, which calls for freedom, democracy and the respect of human rights.
Prior to founding the party in November 2004, Mr Qinawi sat in both the People's Assembly, as a deputy for the Labour Party, and the Consultative Council.
Mr Qinawi's first priority is to "establish complete, proper democratic life in Egypt". He has also called on Mr Mubarak to withdraw his candidacy to give a chance to others.
He also promises a new constitution.
BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaus abroad.