Pro-Sisi party wins majority in Egypt's parliamentary polls

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt’s Mostaqbal Watn (Nation’s Future) Party, which strongly backs President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, secured nearly 55% of the contested seats in a parliamentary election spread over several weeks, official results showed on Monday.

FILE PHOTO: Cars drive near a billboard of the election campaign member of Mostaqbal Watn (Nation's Future), Mohamed Soliman, before the first round of the parliamentary election, at a highway in Cairo, Egypt October 21, 2020. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

The results confirm the party’s position as a dominant force after it won nearly 75% of contested seats for Egypt’s newly recreated Senate in August.

Parliament was already controlled by Sisi supporters, but Nation’s Future sharply increased its share of seats to 315 from 57 in the 596-seat chamber.

A small opposition block of leftist and independent deputies lost seats, official results showed.

Voters and politicians had expected Nation’s Future to benefit from new electoral rules to lock in control of the parliament.

Lists headed by the party won all 284 seats allocated for pre-selected lists under a winner-takes-all system. Nation’s Future got 145 of these seats, according to election commission statements.

The party also won 170 of the 284 seats contested by individual candidates. Another pro-Sisi party, the Republican People’s party, won 50 seats and non-affiliated candidates won 93 seats. Sisi can appoint 28 legislators directly.

Some voters and rival candidates accused Mostaqbal Watan of giving food or cash handouts to voters, accusations the party repeatedly dismissed.

Rival candidates and parties also filed complaints to the election commission alleging electoral fraud, but all were rejected. Some have also taken complaints to the courts.

Turnout in the two main rounds of voting was 29%.

Sisi has overseen a sweeping crackdown on political dissent since leading the ouster of former President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013.

Sisi and his supporters say the measures were needed to stabilise the country.

Reporting by Mahmoud Mourad; Editing by Aidan Lewis and Richard Chang