December 12, 2010 / 7:57 AM / in 7 years

Egypt Brotherhood seeks int'l support over "rigged" votes

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt’s main opposition, the Muslim Brotherhood, said on Saturday it is gathering evidence of vote rigging and other violations in last month’s parliamentary elections and will alert international human rights groups.

<p>Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak speaks during a news conference with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (not pictured) in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh May 11, 2009. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh</p>

It also said it would turn to Egypt’s constitutional and higher administrative courts to call for the dissolution of the new parliament and a re-run of elections.

The Brotherhood, which controlled a fifth of seats in the outgoing parliament, boycotted the second stage of the elections after a first round it said was rigged in favour of President Hosni Mubarak’s ruling National Democratic Party (NDP).

The NDP secured about 80 percent of seats, based on final figures released by the elections commission, compared with about 70 percent in the last parliament.

“ those organisations concerned with human rights and upholding basic civil protections with which Egypt has signed agreements,” said Sobhi Saleh, a Brotherhood member and former member of parliament.

Saleh said bodies such as the United Nations and Human Rights Watch would be addressed.

His statements follow a conference the Brotherhood held on Saturday to discuss what it termed “blatant fraud” in the elections and use of violations such as bullying.

Although banned by a rule that outlaws religious parties, the Islamist movement fields candidates as independents. It said none of its candidates stood in the run-offs because of the boycott, although 26 had made it through the first round.

Egypt’s Parliament has a total of 518 members, of whom 10 are appointed by the president. Of 508 seats being contested, the NDP won 420, while 70 went to independent candidates and 14 to other political parties.

Results of the other four seats were not announced due to violations during the voting process, according to a commission official.

“The voting results of more than 92 electoral constituencies are void,” Saleh said. He added that the Brotherhood would publish a book documenting the violations it said took place.

Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous nation, is due to hold its second multi-candidate poll for the presidency next year. Mubarak has not yet said if he will seek a sixth term next year.

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