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Non-Islamist forces dominate first stage of Egypt's parliamentary elections

Preliminary results show that Islamists suffered more defeats

Gamal Essam El-Din , Thursday 29 Oct 2015
Giza
A man casts his vote at a polling station during the run-off to the first round of parliamentary election in Imbaba, Giza governorate, Egypt October 27, 2015 (Reuters)
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The run-off round in the first stage of Egypt's parliamentary elections, held on 27 and 28 October, saw three secular parties gain the most ground; the Free Egyptians Party, the Future of a Homeland Party and the Wafd Party.

Preliminary results show that the ultraconservative Salafist Nour Party was able to make up some of its losses in the first round, which took place on 17 and 18 October in 14 governorates.

Nour spokesman Abdel-Ghaffar Taha said at least seven of the party's candidates – out of a total of 25 who made it to the run-off round – were able to win seats in Alexandria and Upper Egypt. Other initial estimates show the Nour Party gaining 10 independent seats.

Two Nour candidates, Ahmed Khalil and Ahmed El-Sharif, won seats in Alexandria's El-Ameriyya constituency, which is a Salafist stronghold. Rizak Ragheb Dief Allah, who was affiliated with former president Hosni Mubarak's National Democratic Party, won a third seat.

Alexandria also saw two high-profile independent leftists, Haitham Hariri and Kamal Ahmed, winning seats in the Moharram Bey and El-Attarian constituencies.

The Future of a Homeland Party, a supporter of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, announced that out of its 48 candidates who made it to the run-off round, as many 30 have won seats.

The Free Egyptians Party, founded by business tycoon Naguib Sawiris, did not give a conclusive figure. Party spokesman Shehab Wagih did, however, announce that preliminary results show that the party has won at least 25 seats in Alexandria and Upper Egypt out of a total 65 candidates who qualified for the run-off. Other figures show the party got 36 seats, mostly in Alexandria and Upper Egypt.

The Wafd Party announced that out of a total 35 in the run-offs, 10 candidates were able to win seats. Preliminary figures show the party got 15 seats in the run-offs.

The three liberal political parties – alongside the electoral coalition entitled For the Love of Egypt – are now in a good position to form a major secular force in the coming parliament.

In Giza governorate's constituency of Agouza, Ahmed Mortada Mansour, the son of the head of Zamalek Sporting Club Mortada Mansour, won by a thin majority at the expense of Al-Ahram's political analyst Amr El-Shobaki. Mansour got 21,817 votes, while Al-Shobaki got 21,029 votes.

Preliminary results also show that at least three Coptic candidates, Tadros Qaldus, Ihab Ramzi and Mikhail Helasilasi, won in Upper Egypt governorates.

The run-off round, held on Monday and Tuesday for Egyptians abroad and on Tuesday and Wednesday for those in Egypt, saw 418 independent candidates competing for 209 seats in 99 constituencies.

In the first round, only four independents won outright, while the For the Love of Egypt coalition won 60 seats reserved for two party-based candidates in two constituencies.

The second and final stage of Egypt's parliamentary elections will be held on 23-24 November in 13 governorates.

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