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Egypt's polling results raise boycott among opposition groups

12-02-2010 08:53 BJT

Egypt's top two opposition movements, Al-Wafd Party and officially banned Muslim Brotherhood (MB) , announced Wednesday withdrawal from the run-off of Egypt's parliamentary election, accusing the vote was rigged.

The top committee of Al-Wafd party said in a statement that the party has decided not to participate in the run-off on Sunday, because all party committees on both level of headquarters and governorates are angry and dissatisfied, protesting against the violence, bully and fraud in the first round.

Meanwhile, the banned MB announced later Wednesday that it decided to pull out of the run-off race after winning no seats in the first round.

Egypt's ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) won 209 out of the 221 seats in the first round for contesting in the lower house of Egyptian parliament, while opposition parties secured five and independents seven, the High Elections Commission (HEC) said Tuesday night.

The banned Muslim Brotherhood, whose candidates ran as independents, failed to win a single seat in the first round.

The remaining 287 seats will be contested in the Dec. 5 run-off elections.

The Al-Wafd Party statement said the party received thousands of messages and phone calls from its leaders and members, requiring to withdraw from the second round of elections which are described as "farce."

The party, fielding 207 candidates this year, had won only two seats in the first round and was set to contest nine in the Dec. 5 run-off. Al-Wafd party participated in five elections between 1984 to 2005, and won two seats in the 2005 election.

General Guide for the MB Mohammed Badie said in a statement published on its official website that the group has decided to boycott the run-off of People's Assembly election, and withdraw all of its 27 candidates who were expected to contest the second round of election.

Badie said the group's consultant committee passed the decision with 72 percent of support as a protesting move against what happened in the first round of polling which showed the regime is corrupt and forger of the national will, and the MB's participation in the first round has achieved the aims by making the people more active and making the current regime isolated.

"Sunday was marked by fraud, terrorism and violence carried out by police and thugs," the MB said in the statement, adding that " the Brotherhood refuses to react to such violence."

Despite the boycott, "we still plan to take all legal measures to invalidate this pseudo-parliament," the MB statement said.

But the leftist Tagammu party, which won one seat, would keep its candidates in the run-off, according to media reports.

Fakhry Altahhtawy, professor of political science at Cairo University, told Xinhua earlier that the elections are a test of the ruling party and political participation on the grassroots level.

He said the elections lacked direct judiciary supervision as no judges are deployed at polling stations, a violation of the constitutional amendments in 2007.

Before the election, the National Association for Change (NAC) led by former UN nuclear watchdog chief Mohammed ElBaradei and other opposition movements including the Democratic Front Party ( Al-Gabha) called for boycotting, however, the Al-Wafd Party and the banned Muslim Brotherhood insisted on running in the election.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: Xinhua

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