NDP sweeps 217 seats

Yasmine El-Rashidi , Wednesday 1 Dec 2010

Official results : 217 NDP, 5 opposition, 283 seats for run-offs

Gamal Mubarak
Gamal Mubarak on election day. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

Egypt's ruling party has won 217 seats of the 508 that were up for grabs in the first round of a parliamentary election while opposition parties took just five seats -- two for Wafd, and one each for Tagammu, El Ghad and El Adala. Independents took just three seats, the High Election Commission announced yesterday, confirming that the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) is clinching a sweeping victory as expected. The results for four seats were annulled.

The remaining 283 seats are to go to a run-off, which includes 377 NDP candidates, 140 independents, 26 Muslim Brothers, nine Wafd, six Tagammu and one from El Salam party.

The opposition Muslim Brotherhood, which had controlled 88 seats - one fifth of the previous lower house parliament - earlier said none of its candidates had won seats outright in the first round. They were still unsure if they would contest the run-offs citing the elections as fraught with corruption and vote-rigging.

Human rights groups and the opposition accused the authorities of ballot-stuffing, bullying and other fraudulent tactics in Sunday's first round, but the government insists the election was fair. Several people have been reported dead as a result of this year's thuggery-filled voting day. 

The election commission said it had annulled the counts from over 1,000 ballot boxes but that irregularities had not affected the overall figures.

A run-off election for seats in which no candidate won more than 50 percent of the vote will be held on 5 December.

In many of the run-offs, NDP candidates will be competing against each other. The exact number of NDP versus NDP candidate campaigns is not yet clear.

The results so far have caught the nation by surprise. While a majority NDP win was expected, the complete trouncing of the Muslim Brotherhood and the liberal Wafd - which was expected to be pulled up in this year's election - has shocked the nation. Critics have called the elections the "worst" in the nation's history, and the United States, a key ally of Egypt and its greatest provider of economic aid, said it was "dismayed" by the reports of this year's election, citing them as "cause for concern."

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