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Elections in Egypt Expected to Produce Gains for Ruling Party

VOA News 28 November 2010

Egyptians voted Sunday in parliamentary elections that are expected to increase the power and influence of the ruling party of President Hosni Mubarak.

Mubarak's National Democratic Party (NDP) is poised to win a solid majority of the 508 elected seats. The only serious opposition, the Muslim Brotherhood, is predicted do considerably worse than it did in the last election in 2005, when it won one-fifth of the seats.

Ten additional seats are filled by the president.

The election has been marred by charges of harassment and voting irregularities. In the run-up to Sunday's vote, several hundred members of the Muslim Brotherhood were arrested in the latest in a series of crackdowns on the banned group that runs its candidates as independents.

Although the government has promised a free and fair election, it has barred international monitors, calling them an infringement of its sovereignty.

Candidate needs more than 50% of the votes to win a five-year term

As in years past, turnout among the country's 41 million eligible voters is expected to be low.

Egypt is scheduled to hold a presidential election next year. Mubarak, who is 82 and has been president since 1981, has not said whether he will run for re-election, even though party officials claim he will.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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