FACTBOX-Egypt's series of elections
Reuters, Sunday 5 Dec 2010


Dec 5 (Reuters) - Egyptians voted in the last round of a parliamentary election on Sunday, one of three national polls in the Arab world's most populous state this year and next.
The election for the lower house of parliament follows a June election for the upper house. A presidential election is due next year, but no date has been set.
President Hosni Mubarak's ruling National Democratic Party swept the upper house vote, and is guaranteed a landslide after lower house run-offs. Independent monitors cited widespread and blatant abuses in both polls. Officials said voting was fair.
Analysts say the government wants to squeeze out Islamist and other critics in parliament before a presidential vote in 2011. Mubarak, 82, has not said whether he will run again and has no designated successor if he does not.
Below are details of the votes:

UPPER HOUSE OF PARLIAMENT ELECITON
The upper house of parliament, or Shura Council, consists of 264 seats, one third of which is appointed by the president. The other two thirds are elected in two separate blocs of 88 each.
Opposition parties and independents secured just 8 of the 88 seats up for grabs in the partial election in June.
The Muslim Brotherhood, the biggest opposition bloc in the outgoing lower house with a fifth of seats, won no seats. The group skirts a ban on religious parties by running independents.
Officials put turnout at 30 percent of eligible voters, but rights groups said it was no more than half that. Turnout was low, partly because constituencies are larger than those for the lower house and because few Egyptians pay much attention to who represents them in the upper house.
The Shura Council reviews laws before handing them to the lower house, or People's Assembly, for final approval.

LOWER HOUSE OF PARLIAMENT ELECTION
Mubarak's party is guaranteed its usual thumping majority in the lower house. The party said before the vote that it wanted two-thirds of the assembly to give it complete control, and looks set to secure that goal.
The Brotherhood, which had won 88 seats in 2005, secured no seats in the Nov. 28 first round. It was set to contest 26 run-offs but withdrew in protest at the conduct of the vote.
The opposition Wafd, a party which controlled 12 seats in the outgoing parliament, making it the second biggest opposition bloc, also quit. It said it would not take up the two seats it won in the first round.
The new parliament will have 518 seats, with 508 elected and 10 more appointed by the president. The outgoing assembly had 454 seats. Extra seats reserved for women were added this time.
Officials said first-round voter turnout was 35 percent. Groups monitoring the vote said it was less than half that.

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
Egypt held its first multi-candidate presidential election in 2005, ending a practice of referenda for a single candidate. The 2011 vote will probably be in the second half of the year.
Mubarak, in power since 1981, won the 2005 race easily. His health has been under scrutiny since he underwent surgery in Germany in March. He has not said if he will seek another term.
Mubarak has no vice president, the post he held before he became president, and has no clearly designated successor. Most Egyptians believe that if he does not run, his son, Gamal, 46, a senior official in the NDP, is likely to do so.
Other possible successors often cited include intelligence chief Omar Suleiman or another candidate with a military background. Every president since the king was toppled in 1952 has been a senior military officer, including Mubarak.
Former U.N. nuclear watchdog head Mohamed ElBaradei has said he might run for president. But his campaign for the necessary constitutional and other political changes has fizzled.
The constitution says an independent needs support from 250 elected representatives spread across both houses of parliament and local councils. The ruling party dominates all these.
Senior members of other parties in parliament, who have held their position for at least a year, can also run. ElBaradei, however, has said he will not join an existing party.
The rules effectively exclude a run by the Brotherhood, whose leaders have said the group does not plan one anyway. (Writing by Edmund Blair)

http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/1253.aspx