Egypt votes in final phase of landmark polls

2012-01-03 08:08

Sharm el-Sheikh - Egyptians were set to vote on Tuesday in the final round of a landmark post-revolution election that has propelled Islamist movements into the centre stage of politics.

The last 15 million voters yet to cast their ballots in the first parliamentary polls since the overthrow of veteran president Hosni Mubarak last February were to have their say.

Polling stations were due to open at 08:00 in nine provinces including the Nile Delta, the south and the tourist resorts of South Sinai, with voting taking place over two days.

Egypt's main Islamist parties claimed a crushing victory in the first two rounds of voting.

The powerful Muslim Brotherhood, the country's best organised political movement which was widely expected to triumph in the polls, has claimed the lead through its political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party.

But the surge of Al-Nur, which represents the ultra-conservative Salafi brand of Islam, has raised fears among increasingly marginalised liberals about civil liberties and religious freedom.

The Islamists' victory, which mirrors a pattern in the region since the Arab Spring uprisings of last year overthrew authoritarian secular regimes, has also raised concerns about the future of the country's lucrative tourism industry.

The Islamists' liberal rivals - including the country's oldest party Al-Wafd and liberal coalition the Egyptian Bloc - have fared badly in the first two rounds of voting.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), which took power when Mubarak was ousted, has repeatedly pointed to the elections as proof of its intention to hand the reins to a civilian government.

Deepening rift

But the vote has exposed a deepening rift among Egyptians. Some see them as the first step to democratic rule, while others say the new parliament - whose function remains unclear - leaves control in the hands of the military.

The SCAF has faced growing outrage over the actions of security forces against demonstrators for an immediate transition to civilian rule, which have resulted in dozens of deaths and been widely criticised as heavy-handed.

The SCAF has also come under fire after raids on 17 offices of non-governmental organisations, three of them US-funded, that prompted hints from Washington that it may review its huge aid programme.

The ruling military has decided on a complex election system in which voters cast ballots for party lists, that will comprise two-thirds of parliament, and also for individual candidates for the remaining third of the lower house.

The procedure to elect a full assembly ends in February, after Egypt's military ruler decreed on Sunday that the multi-phase elections for parliament's consultative upper house, the Shura Council, will be held over a shorter period.

With the final elections wrapping up earlier, the two houses will now be able to move more swiftly towards writing a new constitution.

The election for a new president is to take place by June.

Read more on:    egypt  |  egypt elections  |  north africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Zuma: Pray for peaceful polls

President Jacob Zuma has asked members of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God to pray for peaceful elections on 7 May.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Friday Grabouw - 11:32 AM
    Road name: N2 Eastbound
    DELAYS between Sir Lowrys Pass and Grabouw
  • Friday Cape Town - 10:14 AM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    EVENT - left lane closed between Rhodes Avenue and UCT
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia C3

The Nokia C3 Features a 2+ Megapixel Camera, A2DP, Bluetooth,...

From R1175.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may find yourself putting in that extra effort on looking good and making an impression. ...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.