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Last Updated: Sunday, 20 November 2005, 13:10 GMT
Scores arrested in Egypt election
The Muslim Brotherhood's only female candidate Makarem el-Deiri votes in the first round
The Muslim Brotherhood has fielded one female candidate
Egypt has arrested hundreds of members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood as voters elect a second batch of legislators, the Muslim group has said.

Independent monitors reported violence in many parts of Egypt on Sunday, and one person was reportedly killed in the historic city of Alexandria.

The vast majority of seats in the first round were won by President Hosni Mubarak's National Democratic Party.

But the Muslim Brotherhood performed much better than many had anticipated.

The Islamic opposition group has been banned for more than 50 years but its supporters have been able to run as nominally independent candidates.

A spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood told the BBC that the arrests - in five of the nine provinces where voting is taking place - were a bad sign, contradicting official promises of reform.

More than 200 people were arrested, the spokesman said.

The BBC's Heba Saleh in Cairo says that the government appears to have been disturbed by the strength of support for the Muslim Brotherhood in the first round of the voting.

It won 34 seats - twice as many as it has in the current parliament.

Egypt is electing 454 members of parliament in three stages. The last round is scheduled to be held on 1 December.


The man reported killed in Alexandria was a supporter of a dissident member of the ruling NDP.

The AFP news agency named him as Mohammed Khalil, saying he was the first person killed in the elections.

Across the country there were reports of clashes between supporters of the government and the Muslim Brotherhood.

There are 1,706 candidates competing on Sunday for 72 seats in parliament.

During the first round, there were widespread reports of attempts to buy and steal votes - and countless incidents of people being cajoled or threatened into supporting one candidate or another, the BBC's Ian Pannell in Cairo says.

Still, most agree that these elections were never likely to loosen the establishment's grip on power. The opposition remains too weak and fractious for that, he says.

But outright criticism of the government is now permitted and is flourishing.

Power in the new parliament will still lie in the same place as the last, however - in the hands of the president and his party, our correspondent says.

See people voting in the second stage of Egypt's poll


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