Egypt wraps up run-off vote

Updated: 2011-12-07 09:16


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Egypt wraps up run-off vote

An Egyptian soldier stands guard as members of the election committee seal a ballot box using wax after voting closed, inside a voting center during the second day of the parliamentary run-off elections in Cairo December 6, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

CAIRO - Egypt wrapped up the run-off round of the first stage of the People's Assembly (lower house of the parliament) elections on Tuesday amid a low turnout.

In the two-day vote, 104 independent candidates competed for 52 seats. The competition was among the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, the Salafist's Nour Party, the Egyptian Bloc and the Wafd Party.

One constituency in Cairo reported loss or damage of dozens of ballot boxes in the vote. The Supreme Administrative Court decided to hold another vote for this constituency on January 10 and January 11.

The vote in the first stage was held on November 28 and November 29 in nine governorates including Cairo and Alexandria. There were 56 seats for independents and 112 seats for party lists in this stage.

According to the results released Sunday by the High Judicial Elections Commission, the Freedom and Justice Party captured 36.6 percent of the 9.73 million valid votes, followed by the Nour Party, which garnered 24.4 percent. Only four independents secured their seats in the first-round vote.

The 508-seat People's Assembly has 498 seats up for grabs and the other 10 to be appointed by the president of the country. Some 50 parties and more than 6,000 independent candidates have contested the polls. The vote will be held in three stages, each with a run-off one week after the vote. The whole process will end on January 10, 2012, and the final results will be announced by January 13.

The most promising parties include the Freedom and Justice Party, which dominates the Democratic Alliance; the Nour Party, a key member of the Islamic Alliance; the Egyptian Bloc led by the Free Egyptians Party; and the liberal Wafd Party.

The Shura Council (upper house of the parliament) polls will begin in late January and end in early March, also in three stages. Egypt's parliament was dissolved shortly after the fall of ex- president Hosni Mubarak in February amid anti-government protests.