-Taken from the Guardian
-Cairo - December 2010
Egypt's main opposition groups walked out of the 'democratic process' today after official results indicated the ruling party had captured 97% of seats in the parliamentary elections.
Initial figures from the high elections commission showed that President Hosni Mubarak's NDP had won 209 out of the 221 seats that were settled definitively at last Sunday's vote, while the remaining 287 seats are to be the subject of a run-off ballot this week.
The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's biggest organised opposition force, had been due to contest 26 of the remaining constituencies, but will now withdraw from the race. "Sunday was marked by fraud, terrorism and violence carried out by police and thugs," said the Islamist group in a statement, in which it announced it would be taking legal measures to invalidate this "pseudo-parliament".
"We're trapped in a vicious cycle if we carry on trying to participate in this charade," said one prominent member, who wanted to remain anonymous as he had not been cleared to speak with the media. "We've gone from 88 seats to nothing, at a time when the political elite have never been more unpopular. Anybody can look at these results and see instantly that they are farcical. We don't want to assist the regime anymore in this ridiculous and tyrannical game."
Meanwhile the liberal Wafd party, which had been widely expected to make gains at the expense of the Brotherhood due to a reported deal with the Mubarak regime, will also boycott this Sunday's vote after winning only two seats in the first round. A spokesperson for the party's ruling committee declared the results to be "scandalous".
Egypt's autocratic leaders are widely believed to be clearing political institutions of all potential opposition before next year's presidential poll, which could end Mubarak's three-decade reign.