CAIRO: The Ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) has won 80 of 88 seats in the Shoura Council mid-term elections, the Supreme Electoral Commission announced in a conference Wednesday following the runoff elections.
The other eight seats went to independent candidates and four opposition parties, commission Chairman Intissar Nassim told reporters as he announced the final poll results.
Only 14 percent of registered voters cast their votes in the runoff held Tuesday, June 8, Nassim said.
Twenty candidates, 11 of them from the NDP, one from the opposition Al-Wafd Party and eight independent ones, contested 10 seats during the run-offs in Sohag, Qena, Aswan, the Red Sea and South Sinai governorates.
Violations reportedly erupted during the electoral process in the Upper Egyptian Qena governorate.
Two independent candidates and a number of their supporters broke into a polling station where they seized the ballots, insulted and threatened the election monitors for preventing them from forging votes, masrawy.com news portal reported Tuesday.
However, according to Supreme Electoral Commission spokesman Ahmed Shawky, “there was only an unsuccessful attempt to storm the polling station.”
Also in Qena, seven policemen were reportedly injured in a fight that broke out between the tribal families of two candidates, masrawy.com said.
“The commission was not informed of such incidents, [though] there was tension outside a polling station in Qena between the families of [some] independent candidates,” Shawky told Daily News Egypt.
The NDP had earlier won 60 of a total of 74 seats, while four went to the opposition Al-Tagammu, Al-Geel, Al-Ghad, and the Nasserist parties in the first election round held June 1.
Another 14 candidates, all of them NDP members, won by acclamation in 12 constituencies.
The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) ran 15 candidates but did not win any seats.
“These results are invalid by all means. The Supreme Electoral Commission was only present when announcing the poll and at the end to declare results, having no actual presence in [monitoring] the electoral process,” the Brotherhood’s official spokesman Essam El-Erian previously told Daily News Egypt.
Over 7 million citizens cast their votes in the first round, representing about 30 percent of the total number of registered voters in Egypt.
Meanwhile, opposition Democratic Front Party President Ossama El-Ghazali Harb rejected Shoura Council Speaker Safwat El-Sherif’s offer to appoint him as a Shoura Council member.
Harb told the independent Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper that he was against the government appointing members to the council, stressing that a membership should only be determined by the ballot box.
However, El-Sherif, also the NDP Secretary General, told state-owned Akhbar El-Youm newspaper that he did not offer Harb the post.
El-Sherif noted that it was just a discussion to figure out Harb’s standpoint in view of his party’s decision to boycott the poll.
The Shoura Council (Upper House of Parliament) has 264 members; two thirds are elected by direct secret ballot, half of them at least, must be workers and farmers. The remaining third are appointed by the president.
The term of membership is six years and a mid-term election is held every three years. The Speaker of the Shoura Council is the Chairman of the Supreme Press Council.
The council is consulted on several issues including, but not limited to, proposed constitutional amendments, draft laws, general plans for socio-economic development and all treaties affecting Egypt’s territorial integrity or sovereignty.
The President is expected to issue a decree to appoint another 44 members. The Shoura Council will then hold a procedural session on June 24 including all new members.
The People’s Assembly (Lower-House of Parliament) elections are due to be held in October this year and the presidential election next year.