Boycott threat overshadows last stage of Egypt vote

By REUTERS
January 10, 2012 01:11

 
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CAIRO - Islamists aim to deepen their control over Egypt's lower house of parliament on Tuesday in a final phase of voting overshadowed by a threat from a liberal party to boycott elections for the upper chamber.

Banned under Hosni Mubarak, the Muslim Brotherhood has emerged as a major winner from the uprising that toppled him, exploiting a well-organized support base in the first free legislative vote in decades.

Islamists of various stripes are expected to win 60 percent of the 498-seat lower house, with the Brotherhood taking some 41 percent, by its own count.

Run-offs scheduled to take place on Tuesday and Wednesday and a rerun in a district where the vote was canceled in the first round due to irregularities, are set to fill the 11 percent of seats as yet undecided, according to Brotherhood figures.

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