CAIRO: The ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) candidates won a sweeping majority of seats in the Shoura Council mid-term elections, the Supreme Electoral Commission announced in a press conference Thursday.
The NDP won 60 of a total of 74 seats, while four went to the opposition Al-Tagammu, Al-Geel, Al-Ghad, and the Nasserist parties, commission Chairman Intissar Nassim told reporters.
“Another 14 candidates, all of them NDP members, won by acclamation in 12 constituencies,” he added.
According to Nassim, the counting of votes was carried out transparently in the presence of candidates, their representatives, civil society organizations and foreign and Arab correspondents.
“All constitutional and legal procedures were taken to guarantee the integrity of the electoral process,” Nassim explained.
Over 7 million citizens casted their votes, representing about 30 percent of the total number of registered voters in Egypt.
The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) ran 15 candidates but did not win any seats.
“These results are invalid by all means. The commission was only present when announcing the poll and at the end to declare results, having no actual presence in [monitoring] the electoral process,” MB official spokesman Essam El-Erian told Daily News Egypt.
MB candidates frequently accused security authorities of committing violations against them before and during elections.
On the other hand, the NDP had similar accusations against the MB.
“The party’s operations room monitored several infringements committed by MB candidates and their supporters, which led to slowing down the voting process in some constituencies,” the NDP said in a statement at the end of election day.
“Such accusations are untrue. MB candidates were confronted everywhere by security forces that hindered their electoral activities for the sake of NDP candidates,” El-Erian noted.
MB candidates ran for the poll as independent since the group is officially banned.
Eleven NDP candidates and nine independent ones will compete over 10 seats in five governorates in the runoff scheduled for Tuesday.
Some 439 candidates vied for 74 seats in 55 constituencies in all governorates except for Ismalia and New Valley.
The Shoura Council, the 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 is appointed by the president.
The term of membership is six years. A bi-election is held every three years. The Speaker of the Shoura Council is the Chairman of the Supreme Press Council.
The council is consulted in 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.