Before the Higher Elections Committee (HEC) in charge of supervising Egypt's parliamentary elections announces the official results of the first stage of the polls, semi-final reports show that the ultraconservative Salafist Nour Party and dozens of Hosni Mubarak-era figures were the two biggest losers.
While 25 Nour candidates qualified for the second stage run-off round, scheduled next Tuesday and Wednesday, Mubarak-era figures who ran as independents have all lost. As one political observer put it, "They lost the bones and flesh."
Nour's chairman Younis Makhyoun said in a public statement Monday night that "although Nour lost the one party list constituency it chose to contest in the first stage — the Nile West Delta, as many as 25 out of a total of 160 candidates who ran as independents qualified for the run-off round." "We have five in Alexandria, nine in Beheira, four in Al-Fayoum, one in Assuit, one in Beni Suef, one in Qena, two in the New Valley, and two in Marsa Matrouh,” Makhyoun said.
Makhyoun refused to answer questions on whether his party will withdraw from the second round, scheduled 22-23 November. There has been a lot of talk in Nour circles that Younis came under pressure in the last few hours to withdraw from the polls.
Meanwhile, remnants of Mubarak's once ruling and now defunct National Democratic Party (NDP) who ran as independents failed to win a single seat. In Alexandria, at least 10 candidates identified as NDP diehards were kicked out of the race. Just one former NDP candidate, Riza Dief Allah, and two Nour independents qualified for the run-off round in Al-Amriyya district, west of Alexandria.
The biggest winners in Alexandria are candidates of the Free Egyptians Party, founded by business tycoon Naguib Sawiris, and the "Future of the Homeland" Party, founded by a number of young political activists loyal to President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.
In general, as many as 65 independent candidates fielded by the Free Egyptians Party were able to qualify in the Nile West Delta and Upper Egypt governorates.
Next to the Free Egyptians Party comes the old Wafd Party whose 27 independent candidates qualified for the run-off round.
Two independent leftists were able to qualify in Alexandria: Kamal Ahmed, a former long-time Nasserist MP in Attarian district, and Haytham Hariri, son of the late leftist activist Abul Ezz Al-Hariri, in Karmooz Moharrem Bey district.
In the governorate of Al-Minay in Upper Egypt, Bahaa Fikri, a former NDP secretary-general, failed to qualify. Semi-official figures show that independents fielded by the Free Egyptians and Wafd parties qualified instead.
In Al-Minay's nearby governorate of Assuit, no NDP diehards were able to win seats or even qualify.
Semi-official reports show that former NDP officials were able to win seats only as candidates on the party list fielded by the "For the Love of Egypt" coalition in the Nile West Delta and Upper Egypt.
Topping the list of successful "For the Love of Egypt" Mubarak-era figures in Alexandria are industrialist and chairman of Semouha Sporting Club Mohamed Farag Amer, businesswoman Sahar Talaat Mostafa, businessmen Farag Siidawi, Mohamed Al-Moghazi and Mohamed Al-Zini in Beheira, and Ahmed Raslan in Marsa Matrouh.
The victory of the "For the Love of Egypt" coalition also came at the expense of the Egyptian Front and the Independence Current Alliance, an umbrella grouping of Mubarak-era figures.
The Egyptian Front is composed of two political parties — the National Movement and Egypt My Homeland — founded by Mubarak's last prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq.
Ahmed Al-Fadalli, the alliance's coordinator, announced Tuesday night that it might decide to withdraw from the second stage, leaving the field wide open to "For the Love of Egypt" coalition to win the remaining party list constituencies with 60 seats.
Al-Fadalli complained that HEC's approval that the alliance contest the Upper Egypt party list constituency just days ahead of the vote day negatively affected its performance.
The Independence Current includes 42 low-key political parties, most founded under the former regime of Hosni Mubarak as democratic décor.
Semi-official figures show that competition in the first stage's run-off round will cover around 65 per cent of independent constituencies — or around 444 seats. The number of independent seats up for grabs in the first stage stands at 226.