Shura Council Elections Begin

June 1, 2010 . By

The first stage of the Shura Council (Egypt’s upper house) elections began today. As the Council members are elected for staggered terms, 88 of the 264 seats were up for election in a two-round, majoritarian electoral process.
On June 1 itself, an administrative court gave NGOs the ability to monitor the election, leading the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights to receive complaints from female candidates regarding ballot stuffing and other allegations of fraud in the following provinces: Kafr al-Sheikh, Helwan, Dakahlia, Qena, and al-Behera.
While polling centers opened at 8am, low voter turnout was reported.
The Muslim Brotherhood, the largest opposition group in the government, did not win any seats in the elections today (note that their 13 candidates ran as independents). The ruling National Democratic Party won 74 of the seats outright in this first round. The imbalanced results caused many organizations, including the Brotherhood, to claim election rigging by the government.