Polls open for Egypt's upper house of parliament elections
Polling stations opened in Egypt Tuesday for the mid-term elections of the Shura Council, the consultative, upper house of parliament - amid complaints of corruption from opposition, DPA reported.
There are 446 candidates, including 11 women, vying for 74 seats in 55 electoral constituencies. There are some 13 political parties standing.
Local radio stations played nationalistic songs to encourage people to vote. The Shura Council elections usually have a low turnout but this year, elections come amid heightened political debate in the country, and ahead of the October parliamentary and the crucial 2011 presidential elections.
The ruling party candidates and the opposition are vying to make gains at Tuesday's polls.
Egypt's largest opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, which holds 88 seats in the lower house but none in the upper house, complained about "corruption and irregularities" and accused security of arresting Brotherhood candidates and supporters.
The Shura Council, which reviews laws before handing them to the People's Assembly for a final vote, was created by late president Anwar Sadat in 1980. It is composed of 264 members, of which 88 are appointed by the president for six-year terms. Half of the Council is renewed every three years.