Egypt holds runoff elections for upper parliament

Egypt held runoff elections for its upper chamber of Parliament Monday, a week after the first round was marred by violence and accusations of vote manipulation. Candidates from President Hosni Mubarak's ruling National Democratic Party nearly swept last week's elections for the Shura Council, winning 69 of 71 seats, and were poised to dominate Monday's contests as well. Mubarak's NDP party picked up one of the 17 seats scheduled for a runoff before elections even took place after the second candidate withdrew, the NDP's al-Watany al-Youm newspaper reported Monday. Monday's elections lacked the drama of the first round because no members of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's largest opposition group, were participating. The faction fielded 19 candidates in the initial round of voting, but failed to win any seats.