Egypt´s Ruling Party Wins 112 Seats (AP) By MAAMOUN YOUSSEF CAIRO, EGYPT 11/17/05 4:06 PM)
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CAIRO, Egypt -- Egypt´s ruling party won 112 seats in the first stage
of the country´s parliamentary elections, or about 70 percent of
those available, according to final results announced Thursday.
Announcing the results, Justice Minister Mahmoud Abu el-Leil also
confirmed that the banned Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt´s most powerful
Islamic fundamentalist group, more than doubled its presence in
parliament, winning 34 seats.
The ruling National Democratic Party acquired 112 seats out of the
164 contested seats in the first round, which entailed an initial
vote Nov. 9 then a run-off Tuesday. Independents got 13 seats and
three opposition parties won five seats _ two each to the centrist
Wafd and leftist Tagammu parties and one to the centrist Ghad party.
The second round is to be held Sunday, followed by a final one Dec.
1, to determine the remainder of the 454-member parliament. Each
stage is held in a different part of the country.
The NDP holds about 80 percent of seats in the current legislature
and is expected to maintain its domination of the body. But the
Brotherhood´s strong showing has surprised many and boosts its claims
for becoming a legitimate political party, a step the government has
Its representation could rise in the upcoming rounds. The
Brotherhood, which was founded in 1928 and banned since 1954, holds
15 seats in the outgoing body. Its members run as independents,
though their posters bear the Muslim Brotherhood name and slogan.
Results announced Wednesday on the semiofficial news agency MENA said
the NDP had won 70 seats in the first round, but that number rose
when 42 candidates who ran as independents joined the party
immediately after their victories.
Turnout in the Nov. 9 round was 24.9 percent, Abu el-Leil said.
Turnout was 23 percent in Tuesday´s run-off, which decided 133
districts where no candidate got a majority of the vote in the
Abu el-Leil acknowledged instances of election bribes and said some
candidates bought votes, which he described as "a regrettable
phenomenon." The prosecutor-general is investigating the instances,
he said. He said the Higher Election Committee received more than 150
complaints on various election irregularities.
The Muslim Brotherhood calls for implementing Islamic law but has
long been vague about this would mean. Its members are conservative _
advocating the veil for women and campaigning against perceived
immorality in the media, for example. But the group insists it
represents a more moderate face of Islam.
Hundreds of its members have been detained in recent months amid
increased protests against President Hosni Mubarak, Egypt´s leader
for 24 years. (Copyright 2005 Associated Press. 11/17/05)
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