Egyptian Islamists claim poll anomalies

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The Independent Online

President Hosni Mubarak's ruling party was leading the race for parliamentary seats yesterday after the final round of Egyptian elections, which the Islamic opposition said were marred by police intimidation and widespread irregularities.

President Hosni Mubarak's ruling party was leading the race for parliamentary seats yesterday after the final round of Egyptian elections, which the Islamic opposition said were marred by police intimidation and widespread irregularities.

Official results from the Interior Ministry showed that the National Democratic Party had consolidated its majority with 23 more seats, and 101 of its candidates would take part in Monday's run-off.

None of the 22 independent candidates backed by the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood won a seat on Wednesday, but seven received enough votes to qualify for the run-off. Two opposition candidates won seats on Wednesday. Brotherhood candidates won 15 seats - more than all the other opposition parties combined - in the two earlier stages of the polls.

The Brotherhood has complained of vote-rigging andharassment, and said its supporters were deterred from voting in some areas. The group also accused the government of arresting and beating up scores of its supporters. Police fired tear gas at protesting opposition supporters at polling stations on Wednesday.

Five people have been killed and dozens wounded sincepolling began on 18 October.

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