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Egypt goes to the polls - amid turmoil on the streets

The parliamentary elections are significant as it is the first time Egyptians have voted since the overthrow of former president Hosni Mubarak in February.
Nov 28th 2011, 9:42 AM 460 0

Egypt is holding its first elections today since the popular uprising earlier this year which overthrew the 30-year reign of President Hosni Mubarak.

The parliamentary elections are seen as a big step towards democracy after decades of dictatorship.

However the elections take place amid violence and turmoil in the streets as thousands of Egyptians have been protesting  in the run-up to the elections over the role of the military in the government.

Some city centres in Egypt remain under occupation by protesters angry at the ongoing military rule, reports The Guardian. At least 42 people have died and thousands have been injured after clashes between protesters and security forces.

Protesters say that the new parliament will be a puppet regime controlled by the military, which has refused to stand down despite the escalating bloodshed.

Polling centres opened at 8am local time (6am Irish time).  AP reports that voters stood in line outside some polling centres hours before they opened.

The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s largest and best organised group, is expected to do well in the elections, which will take place over a number of days.

The last parliamentary vote held under Mubarak was in November and December of last year. That vote was heavily rigged, and Mubarak’s party won all but a handful of seats.

Today’s vote will elect 498 members of the lower house to parliament.

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Christine Bohan


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