Egypt's polling stations open for parliamentary run-off vote

Arab World Materials 21 December 2011 12:19 (UTC +04:00)

Polling stations in nine Egyptian governorates re-opened Wednesday for a run-off vote in the second round of the country's parliamentary election amid fierce rivalry among Islamists, DPA reported.

There were few voters in the first hour of the polling, state television reported. Polling stations are to remain open until 7 pm (1700 GMT) for two days.

The three-stage elections are the first since former president Hosny Mubarak's overthrow in February.

About 18.7 million people are eligible to cast their ballots in the run-offs, based on a mixed electoral system of party lists and individual candidacy.

The majority of the seats up for grabs in the current run-offs are being contested by the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party and the runner-up Al-Nour, a hardline Salafist party.

The two paries performed well in the first round of the election held in late November.

The Islamists are expected to dominate the new parliament, whose primary task will be to pick a commission to draft a new constitution for Egypt.

The third and final round of voting is set to end in mid-January.