Ruling party ahead of Moslem Brotherhood in Egyptian election round

Ruling party ahead of Moslem Brotherhood in Egyptian election round

 Egypt’s ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) gained strength in the final phase of the country’s parliamentary polls, leaving its competitor, the Moslem Brotherhood, with no decided seats in this round, according to results announced Friday.

The development marked a break from the first two phases where the Moslem Brotherhood had made a clear headway and won 76 seats.

All of the 14 candidates fielded by the Moslem Brotherhood in this round lost, a group spokesman said.

However, the results of the third phase are not yet final since 93 per cent of the 136 seats fielded have not yet been decided.

Runoffs between the leading two candidates will take place on December 7 in constituencies where no single candidate has won a definite majority.

Results announced Friday by the ministry of justice on Egyptian television stated that only nine seats have been decided in the first round of voting on one-third of parliament seats, with the NDP garnering four.

Four seats were claimed by members running as independents, while one seat went to the liberal Wafd Party, the ministry said.

Runoff elections will see competition among 35 Moslem Brotherhood, 92 NDP and five opposition candidates. About 120 independent candidate will enter the runoffs, with most of the declared winners expected to join the NDP later.

In the first two phases, the NDP had won more than 200 seats, the Brotherhood 76 and other opposition candidates 10. The NDP needs at least two-thirds of the parliamentary seats to be able to pass laws.

The third phase of the month-long elections, in which more than 1770 candidates were competing, has seen increased violence and reports of irregularities. At least one person was reported dead.

Independent organizations monitoring the elections also reported widespread intervention by security forces, who were said to have cordoned off polling stations to hinder potential voters in some villages.