Brotherhood claims rigged Egypt poll
29 November 2010, 17:26
Cairo - The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's main opposition, said on Monday that the parliamentary election a day earlier was "rigged and invalid" and that government officials were falsifying the results.
"These elections are rigged and invalid," senior Brotherhood official Essam el-Erian told AFP.
"All night the electoral committees in the different constituencies have produced results and then changed them," he added.
Erian said that in those constituencies where the Islamists were hoping to win seats or force a run-off "the committees have so far refused to announce the results".
Final results from the first round are expected on Tuesday, with the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) of President Hosni Mubarak set win a solid majority of parliament's 508 elected seats. The run-off is scheduled for Sunday.
The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's only serious organised opposition, fielded 130 candidates, who registered as independents to circumvent a ban on religious parties.
In the run up to the vote, Islamists were targeted in a systematic crackdown by the authorities, which saw at least 1 200 of its supporters arrested, more than a dozen candidates disqualified, and 11 members sentenced to two years in jail for campaigning and handing out leaflets.
A Brotherhood election campaign official in the northern city of Alexandria, an Islamist stronghold, also charged that vote rigging was widespread.
"These elections took place in complete darkness, without any surveillance except by the NDP," Medhat al-Haddad said at a press conference after voting ended.