Middle East

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood 'faces heavy poll losses'

Hundreds of opposition Muslim Brotherhood supporters alleging electoral fraud chant during a protest in Cairo, Egypt, 28 November 2010
Image caption Several hundred Muslim Brotherhood supporters marched on a counting station in Cairo

The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's biggest opposition bloc in the outgoing parliament, says it has not won any seats outright in the first round of a poll it claims has been hit by fraud.

A few candidates will stand in a run-off, it said.

Protests took place overnight about the conduct of the poll, and there are reports of two dead in election-related violence.

A run-off vote is to be held on 5 December.

"Only a few will stand in a run-off, but not a single Brotherhood candidate won in the first round," said Saad al-Katatni, the head of the Brotherhood's bloc of 88 seats in the outgoing parliament, equivalent to a fifth of the assembly.

Results are not yet confirmed and counting is still going on, but it appears that the losers include the Brotherhood's leader in parliament, says the BBC's Jon Leyne in Cairo.

There was certainly strong evidence on election day that a number of their supporters were physically prevented from voting, our correspondent says.

Already a spokesman for the Brotherhood has said the government has destroyed the multi-party system, freedom of speech and the fairness of elections.

He warned that as a result, Egyptian people had lost hope in achieving change by peaceful means.

President Hosni Mubarak's ruling NDP party had been expected to win the vote decisively.

The Muslim Brotherhood is barred from taking part in Egyptian elections, so its candidates stand as independents.

The liberal New Wafd party also has no winners, with a handful of candidates going into run-offs, a spokesman said.

In earlier protests, followers of the Muslim Brotherhood gathered outside counting stations in Alexandria.

Several hundred others marched on a counting station in Cairo.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionMuslim Brotherhood supporters held protests in Cairo

The election campaign itself saw clashes between the opposition and security forces.

Some 42 million voters were eligible to cast their ballots.

The new parliament will have 518 members, 508 of whom will be elected and 10 will be appointed by presidential decree.

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