Ruling party wins Egyptian vote amid arrests

President Hosni Mubarak's ruling party won a majority of seats in elections for Egypt's upper house of parliament, a state-run newspaper reported.

Ruling party wins Egyptian vote amid arrests
President Hosni Mubarak's ruling party won a majority of seats in elections for Egypt's upper house of parliament, a state-run newspaper reported Tuesday.

Officials results were expected Wednesday, but Al-Gomhoria newspaper said that the ruling National Democratic Party had won most of the 88 contested seats in Monday's vote.

At least one leftist opposition party fielded a candidate, but it was not immediately known if the candidate won.

The paper, which did not cite a source for its results, reported that candidates fielded by the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's most powerful opposition group, failed to win any seats in the 264-seat Shura Council, or consultative body.

The Muslim Brotherhood denounced the results as a setback for democracy.

"With such an election, Egypt has become a laughing stock all around the world," Brotherhood spokesman Hamdi Hassan told reporters.

The group accused the government of barring its supporters from polling stations and rigging the vote. Police said authorities arrested 400 Brotherhood members Monday.

Violence also erupted between supporters of rival candidates on Monday, with one person killed. The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights said their observers witnessed attacks on opposition supporters, voters banned from polls and instances of vote-buying.

Mubarak, a top U.S. ally, has said his government is bringing "greater democracy" to Egypt, but critics say the changes he has carried out have only strengthened his party's grip on power.

Only 176 members of the Shura Council are directly elected for six-year terms, with half of those seats coming up for election every three years. Mubarak appoints the remaining 88 members.
Last Mod: 13 Haziran 2007, 14:00
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