Agencies, Moment by moment in Egypt

3rd round of parliamentary polls…

Early reporting from AP. BBC does an eve of vote roundup, Reuters covers the Muslim Brotherhood roundup (up to 1600 arrested), and voters who think America is being unfair. AFP looks at voter discontent, and a more whimsical piece explores the effect of satellite TV…



Egyptian authorities arrested 76 Pakistani migrants allegedly attempting to reach Europe from Egypt’s northern coast…

Ashraf Ghorbal, a member of the Egyptian negotiating team that worked out the first Arab peace deal with Israel and a longtime ambassador to the United States, has died. He was 80.

The curtain really begins to close on Ayman Nour….

Target: elections
Osama El-Baz talks about the Brotherhood… The group’s leaders themselves start to speak up about their future ambitions.. Earlier, AP calls the Muslim Brotherhood’s picking up 29 more seats a “stunning result“… Group leader Akef tries to soothe the West about the brotherhood’s foreign policy inclinations… (Here’s the longer version) Plus interesting analyses of the results from bloggers at Arabist, Baheyya, and Sandmonkey There’s also a Yahoo slide show of election day photos, made all the more poignant, perhaps, by this account of the difficulties encountered by reporters and photographers covering the polls. Meanwhile, the United States renewed its “real concern” over violence in Egypt’s parliamentary elections, and Egypt’s judges — tasked with monitoring [the polls] — have decided to deploy on the streets in a bid to ensure access to polling stations.”

Recurring story?
In Egypt’s parliamentary runoffs on Saturday, police prevented opposition voters from reaching the polling stations in Alexandria… Judges called for voting to be suspended as a result… Despite this, the Muslim Brotherhood’s vote rampage continued… Reuters says 28 more seats for the Islamist group, while AP says 25 in a far more detailed report… Some say the brotherhood is thriving on public anger against Israel and the government’s ties with the Jewish state… In any case, the police detained at least 50 brotherhood members on Saturday…  Meanwhile, Nazif tries to stay on message about reform despite NDP election losses… The “strong showing by the Muslim Brotherhood in parliamentary elections has caught Egypt’s rulers off guard and could shake up politics in the biggest Arab country,” Reuters says… CS Monitor explores the idea of legalizing the groupA Brotherhood big wig explains the situation… (Direct link to the brotherhood leader’s comment in the Guardian…) One interpretation for this sudden turn of events, was proffered by Negad el-Borai, a human rights advocate and elections’ monitor,  to AP: “The people are saying we hate the ruling party, we hate the government and we will get anybody to rule us except you.

Interpreting the results… again
A few interesting comments on how democratic the process might or might not be… And, somewhat over-worked musings on US influence on — and reactions to —  the elections, featuring quotes like: “The Americans have reassessed the situation and come to the conclusion that fast and vigorous democratization in Egypt is impossible and will work in an undesirable way…” Also, the United States expressed “real concern“, and said it expected the Cairo government to ensure a vote free of intimidation. Meanwhile, an angry judge makes election fraud clear…but the Judges club call for army protection only makes it to UPI.. 

Money and “baltaga”
More election related violence in Gharbiya… Meanwhile, a man was killed in a fight between supporters of two rival politicians north of Cairo on Wednesday in the second death in violence linked to Egypt’s legislative elections… Plus, “the European Parliament delegation which went to Egypt to witness the first phase of parliamentary elections there has decided not to go back for the final phase. The delegation felt that there was little point in returning because of the negative impressions it had on 9 November. These impressions have since been confirmed by NGOs and subsequent events in Egypt…” According to the NY Times: “The violence was seen as a government effort to create chaos to prevent the Muslim Brotherhood from making further gains in the second round of three-stage parliamentary elections.”