CAIRO — Hundreds of Egyptian opposition activists protested Sunday over what they said were bogus elections that had produced an illegitimate parliament, even as the president hailed the vote as a "milestone" for democracy.
The protest took place outside the Supreme Court in downtown Cairo shortly after President Hosni Mubarak congratulated the ruling party for its sweeping victory on live television. The opposition, as well as international rights activists, have condemned the elections for widespread rigging and called for the results to be annulled. The country's two largest opposition groups pulled out after the first round.
Mubarak acknowledged there had been violence and vote-buying in the election which took place over two rounds on Nov. 28 and Dec. 5, but he described the results as lawful and told Egyptians to expect the new body to advance democracy. But the protesters at the rally challenged the legitimacy of the parliament, which will holds its first session Monday.
"Mubarak's parliament is void," activists shouted. A number of opposition candidates that lost in the elections announced they would form a parallel parliament.