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Stunning Result, Egypt’s Banned Muslim Brotherhood Wins 29 More Seats in Violent Runoff Polls
Stunning Result, Egypt’s Banned Muslim Brotherhood Wins 29 More Seats in Violent Runoff Polls
>Mohammed Mahdi Akef, the leader of banned Muslim Brotherhood, talks Sunday, Nov.27, 2005, during an interview with the Associated Press in Cairo, Egypt.
Sunday, November 27,2005 00:00
by (AP)

Stunning Result, Egypt’s Banned Muslim Brotherhood Wins 29 More Seats in Violent Runoff Polls

Mohammed Mahdi Akef, the leader of banned Muslim Brotherhood, talks Sunday, Nov.27, 2005, during an interview with the Associated Press in Cairo, Egypt. Mistrust, frustration and increasing public anger at President Hosni Mubarak government is behind the good showing of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt’s parliamentary election, the leader of the outlawed group said. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

By MAAMOUN YOUSSEF Associated Press Writer

 The outlawed Muslim Brotherhood captured 29 more seats in weekend parliamentary runoff elections, the group and Interior Ministry officials said Sunday, meaning the organization will control at least five times more seats in the new legislature than it does now.

The stunning result after the second round of voting was achieved despite low turnout, irregularities and clashes with police in what appeared to be a determined government effort to block opposition voters and curb the building momentum of the Islamic-based organization.

The Higher Election Committee said final results showed 115 candidates won seats in Saturday’s runoffs from round two of the polling 75 for the ruling National Democratic Party; 38 to independents; and two for the New Wafd opposition party.

Judges stopped the elections in three constituencies for irregularities.

Senior Brotherhood official Ali Abdel Fattah said Sunday that 29 of the winning independents were members of the group, which gets around an official ban by fielding its candidates as independents. That number was confirmed by Interior Ministry officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press.

The results announced so far showed the Brotherhood increasing its share in parliament to 76 seats, more than five times its representation in the outgoing parliament. A third and final stage of voting will occur Dec. 1, with a runoff likely six days after that.

The outcome could push the Brotherhood past the number of seats needed under new constitutional rules to nominate a presidential candidate in 2011.

After Saturday’s vote, the ruling NDP had 197 seats and other candidates 28.

Nongovernment organizations and judges monitoring Saturday’s polls complained that security forces blocked thousands of the 10 million eligible voters from entering polling stations in nine provinces. In those regions, 122 seats were in play after no candidate garnered more than half the vote in the second round of polling six days ago.

The Interior Ministry denied Saturday that any polling centers were closed and that police were preventing voters casting ballots.

Outside some polling stations, armed backers of both Islamist and secular politicians engaged in fierce clashes. Abdel Fattah said police arrested 680 Brotherhood members and supporters nationwide on Saturday.

Several leaders from President Hosni Mubarak’s NDP lost their seats, including the party’s deputy chairman Youssef Wali; general secretariat member Mohammed Abdellah; and Ahmed Abu Zeid, former head of parliament’s foreign affairs committee and president of Alexandria University.

The leftist Progressive National Unionist Party, or Al Tagammu, received the biggest blow when its founder, Khaled Mohieddin, and two other leading members lost their seats. Mohieddin, 83, who founded the secular party in 1975, was a member of the military junta that toppled the monarchy in 1952. The party had six members in parliament.

The Brotherhood’s platform is based on a vague call for the implementation of Islamic law in the Arab world’s largest nation. It advocates the veil for women and campaigns against perceived immorality in the media, but the group insists it represents a more moderate face of Islam than that followed in deeply conservative Saudi Arabia.

The Muslim Brotherhood was banned in 1954 and later that year accused of trying to assassinate then-Interior Minister Gamal Abdel Nasser, who became president in 1956. It renounced violence in the 1970s.

tags: parliamentary elections / politics / rigged elections / Agencies / MB chairman / MB in parliament / Egypt / MB Vs. NDP / democracy / AP
Posted in MB in International press  
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