Egypt Islamists say 30 candidates face run-off vote
Friday, December 2,2005 00:00
By (Reuters)


 Egypt’s Islamist opposition Muslim Brotherhood said on Friday that 30 of its 49 candidates in the third stage of parliamentary elections won a place in run-offs next week but none had yet won outright in Thursday’s voting.

Only candidates who take at least 50 percent of the vote win in the first round; otherwise the two top candidates compete again six days later.

The Brotherhood, an Islamist group which fields candidates as independents because the government denies them a party, said six of the 49 candidates were still awaiting results.

The official election commission has not announced any results from Thursday’s voting, in which many voters complained that riot police kept them away from polling stations.

One man was shot dead in a constituency where a vocal leftist, Hamdin Sabahi, is trying to hold his seat. Sabahi was active in the Kefaya movement which campaigned against a new term for President Hosni Mubarak this year.

The Brotherhood has already increased its presence in parliament massively, to 76 of the 444 elected seats from 15 in the outgoing house. It hopes to push its total up to 100 when voting ends next Wednesday.

In both the previous stages, the Brotherhood won some seats in the first round of voting.

A spokesman for the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) said the party had no results to announce.

The NDP needs about 90 of the 136 seats at stake in this third stage to retain the two-thirds majority which enables it to change the constitution without taking into account any opposition. So far the party has about 214 seats.

The big losers in the election have been the secular opposition parties, which have only a handful of seats.

Sabahi’s spokeswoman said the leftist candidate would face a re-run next Wednesday.

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