Egypt legislative elections marred by violence, arrests
Egyptian police arrested Several hundred supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood on Saturday after polling stations opened for legislative elections, the Brotherhood said in a statement. The fourth day of voting in the month-long election was marred also by claims of voter intimidation and widespread irregularities, AFP reported.
Brotherhood officials have stated almost 500 of the group's followers have been arrested since three-stage parliamentary elections started on Nov. 9. Most have been released. The Brotherhood said the goal of the detentions was to disrupt its preparations for the elections.
Muslim Brotherhood -- which achieved spectacular gains in the first rounds of voting -- also charged that President Hosni Mubarak's National Democratic Party (NDP) was using police to prevent the Movement's supporters from casting their ballots.
Judges suspended voting in several polling stations across the nine governorates involved in the second phase after police allegedly prevented Brotherhood supporters from voting. Three constituencies that had been scheduled to hold runoffs could require re-runs after the judiciary annulled last week's first-round results.
There was also violence on Saturday. Independent candidate Mohammad Khader, running against the Minister of Agriculture Ahmed al-Laithi, told AFP many of his supporters sustained light wounds when police fired birdshot to disperse them.