Mubarak’s party dominates Egypt senate election

Egypt’s ruling National Democratic Party scored an overwhelming victory in upper house elections, according to results announced Thursday amid accusations of irregularities and a low voter turnout.

The Muslim Brotherhood, the country’s largest opposition force which fielded about dozen candidates in Tuesday’s poll, failed to win any seats while four small opposition groups secured a seat each.

The NDP, which dominates both houses of parliament, won 60 seats on top of 14 that were uncontested, after 30 percent of eligible voters cast their votes, chief electoral official Intissar Nassim told a news conference.

Nassim said the elections, for a third of the senate’s 264 seats, were conducted “transparently.”

A second round for the remaining 10 seats is to be held next week. A third of the house’s seats are appointed by the president.

The Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights said only five percent of voters had turned out for the election, which it alleged was marred by violence, vote buying and group voting for NDP candidates.

It said in a statement that candidates were assaulted in the Nile Delta province of Menufia.

The NDP and police accused the Brotherhood and opposition candidates of violence. Police said three officers were wounded by gunfire from Brotherhood supporters outside a polling station in the northern Beheira province.

Elections for the Shura council, which take place every three years, are not as hotly contested as parliamentary elections, in which the Brotherhood made huge gains in 2005, winning a fifth of seats.

The Islamist group, which lists its candidates as independents to get around a ban on religious parties, said the results of this week’s vote foreshadowed an upcoming parliamentary election later this year.

“The outcome of Tuesday’s vote reveals the true intention of the regime and is a real indication of how much space the government is really planning to give the MB in the parliamentary elections scheduled later this year,” it said on its website.


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