Egypt ruling party dominates Senate in polls

CAIRO- Egypt's ruling National Democratic Party clinched 80 of the 88 seats up for grab in elections for the upper house of parliament, according to final results published on Wednesday.
The Muslim Brotherhood, the country's largest opposition force, and which fielded about a dozen candidates, failed to win any seats in the Shura Council, said electoral commission chief Intissar Nassim.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak
But eight small opposition and independent parties secured a seat each in the balloting, which was held June 1 and in a second round on Tuesday.
After the first round, Nassim had said the elections -- for a third of the senate's 264 seats -- were conducted "transparently" despite charges of irregularities and a low voter turnout.
A third of the seats are appointed by the Egyptian president while 176 members are elected directly. Membership in the mainly advisory Shura is on a rotating basis, with one-third of the council renewed every three years.
The Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights has said only five percent of voters turned out for the first round last week, and alleged the polls were marred by violence, vote buying and group voting for NDP candidates.
The NDP and police have accused the Brotherhood and opposition candidates of violence.
The Brotherhood, which fields independent candidates to get around a ban on religious parties, has accused the authorities of trying to contain them ahead of lower house polls due in the autumn and a presidential election next year.
In 2005, the Islamists made huge gains, winning a fifth of seats in the lower house.
President Hosni Mubarak, who turned 82 this year and underwent surgery in March, has not said whether he plans to run for re-election.

Thursday, June 10th 2010

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