• 20:02
  • Wednesday ,08 December 2010

NDP prevails in troubled vote

By Amr Emam and Ashraf Madbouli-EG

Home News


Wednesday ,08 December 2010

NDP prevails in troubled vote

CAIRO - Sunday’s parliamentary election runoffs have resulted in a ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) landslide and full party control over the Lower House of the Egyptian Parliament.


The runoffs were followed by complaints of numerous instances of violence, fraud and unconstitutionality.

    Early runoff indicators, which were out a short time before the election results were officially announced Monday, showed the uncontested grip of the NDP on the legislature to be tighter, with the party harvesting 439 seats in the 518-seat Parliament. 

   The Egyptian President has the right to appoint ten legislators.

   Elections were suspended in two constituencies, meaning that the total number of seats elected was 504.

    The Tagammu (Unionist Progressive) Party managed to win five seats and the liberal Al-Wafd Party six, while three other political parties won a seat each, the indicators showed.

    Fifty-nine independent candidates, most of whom are expected to join the NDP later, also managed to win seats in the runoffs.

    A few hours before the runoff results were announced, violence hit several parts of the nation, including the coastal Governorate of Marsa Matrouh, where angry citizens were reported to have smashed up shops and the façades of other buildings, in protest at the failure of their candidates to end Sunday’s competition in their favour.

    Several NGOs have called for nullifying the results of the elections, including the New World Foundation, which considered the elections to be the “least representative” of the desire of the electorate in Egypt.

    Other NGOs referred to irregularities that marred the electoral process on Sunday, sparking a rash of appeals and legal action against the Higher Election Commission, which monitored the vote, and the NDP.

    Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif refuted claims that the vote had been rigged and said it was probably a more honest vote than the previous parliamentary elections in 2005.

   “I challenge those who’ve been complaining to prove that anyone intervened to swing the elections in any of the contestants ’ favour,” the Prime Minister said.

   “Those who have been criticising the elections have failed to talk about specific incidents,” he told journalists Monday.

     Despite this, local election monitors who were allowed into the polling stations said that Sunday’s electoral process wasn’t fair.

    Some of these monitors have even given the names of people responsible for this and the areas where the irregularities happened.

    The outlawed Muslim Brotherhood also managed to win a seat on Sunday, but their winning candidate claimed that he was abducted and prevented from asking his supporters to stop going to the polling stations in protest at his abduction.

    Brotherhood officials said they had not decided yet whether the winning candidate would give up his seat in compliance with a decision taken earlier by the group to boycott the elections.

    A coalition of Egyptian rights groups yesterday urged President Hosni Mubarak to nullify the results of the country's parliamentary elections, because of widespread vote rigging.

    In a statement, the Independent Coalition for Election Observation said President Hosni Mubarak should use his constitutional powers to dissolve the newly elected Parliament.

   "Transparency was overlooked on the largest scale. Rigging was the law that regulated these elections," the rights groups said.

    They also demanded an amendment to Egypt's Election Law to ensure "minimum standards of transparency and fairness" in future elections.