19 Egyptians arrested for riot plot in parliamentary elections

19 Egyptians arrested for riot plot in parliamentary elections 

   CAIRO, Nov. 25 (Xinhuanet) — Egyptian police have arrested 19 people for allegedly planning to disrupt Saturday’s run-offs of the second phase of parliamentary elections, the official MENA news agency reported Friday.

   “Nineteen persons have been arrested, 15 in (the Mediterranean port city of) Alexandria and four in (the southern governorate of) Qena, on charges of planning to carry out acts of violence to disrupt polling,” an Interior Ministry statement said.

   They were found to be in possession of papers indicating they were members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, the ministry said, adding prosecutors have started investigations.

   The second phase of Egypt’s three-stage parliamentary elections has seen a surge in election-related violence, in contrast to the relative calm witnessed in the first phase which kicked off on Nov. 9 with run-offs being held on Nov. 15.

   At least one man was killed and four others injured in Alexandria last Sunday when the second phase of the parliamentary elections kicked off. Most of the casualties came as result of rivalry between supporters of competing candidates.

   Run-offs of the second phase will start Saturday in nine governorates, including Alexandria, with 242 candidates competing for 121 parliamentary seats.

   After three rounds of voting, the ruling National Democratic Party has secured a majority of seats decided.

   The party won 112 out of 164 seats up for grab in the first phase of the legislative elections. It secured another 10 seats in the first round of the second phase.

   Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood, banned but usually tolerated, has gained 47 seats, 34 in the first phase and 13 in the first round of the second phase.

   The third stage of the elections will start on Dec. 1 with run-offs, if necessary, to be held six days later.  Enditem