Egypt\'s First Stage of Voting \'Peaceful\'
The Egyptian authorities have reported a big turnout in the first stage of parliamentary elections, adding that the voting was peaceful, compared with the last elections five years ago, reported the BBC.online.
The last elections were marred by violence, and left about 60 people dead, said the BBC.
However, there were reports of obstruction by officials in the port city of Alexandria, where some candidates of the opposition Muslim Brotherhood said their supporters were barred from entering polling booths.
The Muslim Brotherhood has accused the government of rigging the election by arresting more than 1,000 of its supporters in the run-up to voting, the BBC added.
"Opposition parties do not have any chance to mobilize the voters," said Hafez Abu Seda, secretary-general of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights.
However, a candidate for the opposition Wafd Party, Othman Ibrahim in Sohag, said that polling had been freer than in previous elections, according to the BBC.
The party had publicly urged the government "not to resort to fraud, as usual, to gain the majority of seats."
Voters must choose 440 members of parliament and the president will choose a further 10.
Meanwhile, the next two rounds of voting take place on 29 October, and 8 November, with the new parliament due to convene in December.
The government vowed that these elections would be free and fair, and so, instead of interior ministry officials, judges are monitoring the poll booths for the first time, said the BBC - Albawaba.com
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