Polls open in Egyptian run-off parliament vote

The National Democratic Party has already dominated Parliament for 3 decades.

Cairo: Polling stations opened in Egypt on Sunday in a run-off parliamentary vote after the opposition said last week`s first round of the election was rigged to ensure a sweeping victory for President Hosni Mubarak`s ruling party.

State television reported that polls opened at 8 am (0600 GMT). Polling stations close at 7 pm (1700 GMT). Of an original 508 seats up for grabs, 283 seats are being contested in run-offs where no candidate won outright last week.

The main opposition Muslim Brotherhood, which controlled a fifth of seats in the outgoing assembly, quit the race after it said ballot box stuffing and other abuses meant it won no seats in the first round. It had 26 candidates in the run-offs.

The ruling National Democratic Party, which has dominated Egyptian politics for decades, is guaranteed a big majority in the assembly after Sunday`s run-off.

Officials said the vote was free and fair and said any complaints were being checked but did not undermine the vote`s overall credibility.

Bureau Report