Egypt Islamists condemn `irregularities` ahead of vote
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Last Updated: Sunday, May 30, 2010, 21:07
Cairo: The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's largest opposition group, Sunday denounced "corruption and irregularities" ahead of Tuesday's elections for parliament's upper house.

"When we decided to field candidates in this election, we thought the regime would keep some of its promises and was sincere," the group's supreme guide Mohammed Badie told reporters, in reference to government vows of holding free and fair elections.

"Unfortunately, it has disappointed the people and has returned to its original path of violating the constitution and the law, and the rights of candidates and voters," he said.

Badie condemned the "corruption and irregularities," in the run-up to the election, saying security officials had "removed posters of our candidates and chased them and their supporters to prevent them from campaigning and meeting their constituents."

"It has reached the stage of besieging the homes of the candidates," he said.

The Muslim Brotherhood, which is officially banned, will be fielding around a dozen candidates as independents in the mid-term election for the Shura Council, the upper house of Egypt's bicameral legislature which is dominated by President Hosni Mubarak's National Democratic Party.

The Shura, a primarily advisory body, is made up of 264 members of whom 176 are directly elected and 88 are appointed by the president. Membership is on a rotating basis, with one third of the council renewed every three years.

The vote is unlikely to reshape the political landscape, with analysts expecting a low voter turnout.

Some 446 candidates are to run for 74 seats in 55 electoral constituencies, Intissar Nesmi, head of the High Elections Commission told reporters. Fourteen seats are not being contested.


First Published: Sunday, May 30, 2010, 21:07

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