Yasser Borhami, founder of the Salafist Al Nour Party, after casting his ballot (Reuters)
Preliminary results for the run-off vote of the first round of Egypt’s parliamentary elections reveal that only 10 Nour Party candidates have secured their parliamentary seats during the two-day voting stage where 418 candidates competed for the 209 individual seats.
The ultraconservative Salafist Nour Party, the only Islamist force competing in this year’s election, faced a heavy defeat in the first round. On top of failing to win the one-party list constituency that it chose to run for, only 25 of its 160 candidates running for individual seats managed to make it to the run-offs.
In a phone call with Al-Mehwar TV on Thursday, Nour Party chairman Younis Makhyoun criticised media outlets for their attacks on his party and voiced his disappointment in the 2015 elections.
“We managed to win 10 seats in Beheira, Upper Egypt and Alexandria despite the fierce campaign against the party from state-owned media as well as private outlets,” Younis said to the show's host, Haytham Seoudi.
“We also expect the number to rise as we have candidates running in the four constituencies in which elections will be repeated within 60 days,” he added.
Ballots for 13 individual seats will go through another vote after a court ruled their results void. The seats consist of four in Damanhour, four in Alexandria, and five in Beni Suef.
Younis also voiced his dissatisfaction and worries over the future of the parliament.
“Unfortunately, the composition of the next parliament will not achieve the aspirations and hopes of the Egyptian people and will not signify a real representation of the Egyptian populace,” he said.
The Nour Party had announced on Thursday 23 October that it will remain in the parliamentary race despite the disappointing first round results for its members, who threatened to withdraw over the perceived media smear campaign.
"We will remain in the parliamentary elections to continue our mission, which is to reform as much as we can and not to give up despite attempts to exclude us from the political scene," the party had said in an official statement.
The party chose to field party lists in only two of the four electoral zones, competing for 15 seats in this round’s West Delta and for 45 seats in the second round’s Cairo, South and Middle Nile Delta.
The second phase of voting will take place on 21 November, with run-offs due on 1-2 December.