• November 11, 2005
  • 3 minutes read

Most seats undecided in Egypt’s parliamentary elections

Most seats undecided in Egypt’s parliamentary elections

Most seats undecided in Egypt’s parliamentary elections

    (Xinhuanet)  Most of the 164 seats up for grab in the first phase of Egypt’s three-stage legislative elections were undecided after the first round of voting, sending large numbers of candidates into run-offs, election officials said late Thursday.

 Only 28 parliamentary seats have been decided after a first round of voting, and the remaining 136 seats will all be decided in run-offs to be held on Nov. 15, the officials said.

    The ruling National Democratic Party (NDP), led by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, won 24 of the 28 seats decided and the Muslim Brotherhood, the de facto largest opposition force,snatched another three seats while the remaining one went to an independent candidate.

    The first phase of the elections, predictably, yielded no surprise as several prominent NDP candidates, including several cabinet ministers and high-ranking party officials, all won in their constituencies.

    In one of the highest-profile showdown, prominent opposition leader Ayman Nour lost to NDP candidate Yehya Wahdan in Cairo’s Bab al-Shariya constituency.

    Both Nour and his party have been in trouble ever since it gained a government license for political parties last October.

    The young opposition politician, who came second in Egypt’s first contested presidential elections held on Sept. 7 with some 8 percent of votes, now stands on trial for his alleged role in falsifying signatures of supporters to gain the party license. The party suffered another major setback earlier this year after top leaders split amid differences.

    Another secular opposition alliance, the National United Frontfor Change, fared rather poorly as its candidates failed to win asingle seat.

    The first phase of Egypt’s three-stage parliamentary elections kicked off early Wednesday. The second and third stages will be held on Nov. 20 and Dec. 1 respectively. Any run-offs, if necessary, will be held six days after the first round of voting in each stage. Enditem