Mubarak damaged Egypt's reputation

The reports on interference, intimidation and other irregularities in Egypt's parliamentary elections have damaged the country's reputation, a political expert says.

President Hosni Mubarak's ruling party has paved the way for a parliament which is completely free from any opposition.

"Authorities have pre-determined and have planned that the successes that they [Muslim Brotherhood] have achieved in 2005 will not actually take place this time and that's why they have planned to squeeze out all opposition by using the methods of violence, intimidation, beatings and actually arresting and detaining the candidates of the Muslim Brotherhood before the elections could take place,".

Brotherhood candidates, who won about one-fifth of the parliamentary seats in the last general elections, complain that their representatives were expelled from polling stations and many of their supporters were not allowed to vote.

They added that the ruling party sought to prevent its rivals from repeating their 2005 success.

According to the Brotherhood, the main opposition has failed to win any seats outright in the first round of voting and only 21 out of 130 candidates feel sure of making it to the run-off vote.

The group has accused Mubarak's party of manipulating the vote to ensure a sweeping victory.

"All night the electoral committees in the different constituencies have produced results and then changed them,".

"These elections are rigged and invalid."

While Egypt's investigations commission says it will investigate fraud claims, al-Isa noted that no independent monitor has been allowed in to observe the elections.

"There were no local monitors allowed in; no representatives of opposition parties were allowed to monitor the elections and this was after the reassurance from Mubarak's party that the elections would be fair and would be free," he added.
Mubarak's government has played a win-at-all- costs game of parliamentary elections and has gone beyond blatant fraud to violence, intimidation and false arrests.

Protesters clashed with police across Egypt on Monday and three people were reportedly killed in poll-related violence.
Human rights groups have condemned the government for suppressing opposition candidates and their supporters.

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