Monday, November 28, 2011

Egypt ends first day of key parliamentary vote with high turnout

CAIRO, Nov. 28 --

Polling stations in nine provinces across Egypt closed at 9 p.m. on Monday after a two-hour extension due to the high turnout in the first stage of the country\'s historic parliamentary elections.

At the start of the vote at 8 a.m. local time (0600 GMT), voters queued up at polling stations in Cairo. The turnout was high. \"Today, nearly 1,000 voters cast their votes here,\" said a judge at a polling station specially for women in downtown Cairo on Monday evening. \"No violations were reported.\"

By Monday evening, many electoral workers were still busy receiving voters despite a slight decline in the turnout. Abdel Ibrahim, chairman of the High Judicial Elections Commission, told reporters late Monday that the voting was smooth except that three polling stations were closed due to clashes.

About 17 million eligible voters are expected to go to 3,809 polling stations in the nine governorates in the first stage. Around 2,357 independent candidates will contest 57 seats, while 1, 452 party candidates will compete for 112 seats.

The People\'s Assembly polls are held over three stages, each with a run-off one week after the vote. The whole vote will be finished on Jan. 10 and the final results will be announced by Jan. 13

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