Monday, 6 December 2010
Egypt votes in second round of election amid allegations of fraud
Egypt has voted in a second round of parliamentary elections, a week after the first round was marred by violence and allegations of fraud. President Hosni Mubarak's ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) won almost all the seats in the first round, following withdrawal from the poll by the two main opposition groups.
The NDP has been accused of fixing the vote, but the party insists that the ballot was fair. The top two candidates in seats where no-one polled more than 50 per cent of the vote are supposed to contest the run-off.
But the NDP, which won 209 of the 222 seats decided in the first round, is expected to win all but a handful of the 287 seats that were up for grabs on Sunday.
The first round of voting attracted criticism from rights groups and the US, after videos of confrontations between the government and the opposition and pictures of ballot boxes being stuffed and destroyed began to circulate on the internet.
Experts wonder whether the result has any credibility as it looks like the outcome might leave Egypt a one-party state. The main opposition party, the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), pulled out of the second round as it failed to secure a single seat in the first round. The other opposition group, the liberal Wafd party, followed in MB's footsteps after winning just two seats.
The result of the parliamentary elections will no doubt have an affect on the presidential poll next year, but it is yet unclear whether President Mubarak will stand for re-election or look for a successor.
Source: BBC News
For more news and expert analysis about Egypt, please see Egypt Politics & Security.