EGYPT
Parliamentary Chamber: Majlis Al-Chaab

ELECTIONS HELD IN 2000

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Chamber:
  Majlis Al-Chaab


Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  18 October 2000
8 November 2000


Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the popularly chosen seats in Parliament on the normal expiry of the members' term of office.


Background and outcome of elections:

  On 11 September 2000, President Hosni Mubarak set dates for the parliamentary elections, scheduled to start on 18 October 2000 and to be held in three phases over three weeks to allow monitors to travel across the voting regions. This was the first time that Egypt held legislative elections in stages under the supervision of judges. In the past, the elections were held on a single day across the country, but the government was forced to prolong the voting after the Supreme Constitutional Court ruled in July that judges must monitor all polling stations. Egypt does not have enough judges to supervise a nationwide vote in one day.

Some 21 million voters were eligible to cast ballots and choose from among more than 4,200 registered candidates.

More than 200 alleged members of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's largest and most influential Islamic group, were arrested in the months leading up to the elections. The group accused the government of trying to stop it from playing a part in the elections. It had been outlawed by the government, which had accused it of encouraging violence in order to establish an Islamic State. Although the group is banned from taking part openly in political life, it informally nominated and supported candidates running as independents.

The electoral campaign was dominated by: worries about the economy and violence in neighbouring Israel. The country faces growing domestic debt and credit market problems. Official figures put unemployment at 8% but independent economists believe it to be much higher. Anti-Israel protests were held almost daily in several Egyptian cities.

The presence of judges supervising polling stations was welcomed by civil rights groups, as past elections had been marred by accusations of fraud which the government had always denied. This time, the Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights denounced the electoral rolls as inaccurate, claiming that they contained duplicate names as well as names of dead people.

After the first stage of the elections, held in eight districts in North Egypt, the authorities reported a large turnout and declared the voting peaceful, compared with the last elections five years before, which had been marred by violence and had left some 60 people dead and over 400 wounded. The Supervisory Committee, responsible for ensuring security during the elections, did not report any murder cases or use of weapons. However, clashes between security forces and opposition supporters started during the run-off for 120 of the 150 seats to be allocated in the first stage, and left one person dead and 60 injured. The results for this first stage gave President Hosni Mubarak's National Democratic Party (NDP) 118 seats. Independents won 26 (including 6 for candidates backed by the Muslim Brotherhood), while the other four went to two small opposition parties. Voting in a two-seat constituency in Alexandria was postponed indefinitely, after the results had been annulled by a court ruling.

The calm observed during the first stage was broken in the second stage when four people died and dozens were hurt in clashes involving rival groups and police. During this second stage, which took place in Eastern and Southern Egypt, a total of 134 seats were contested. The NDP won 106 seats, independents 23 (including nine candidates supported by the Muslim Brotherhood) with the remaining 5 going to opposition parties.

The third stage took place in central Egypt, including Cairo, and gave the NDP 129 seats, as compared with 24 for independent candidates, and the other three for small opposition parties.

Thirty-five successful independent candidates joined the NDP, giving the ruling party 388 seats. The Parliament convened for the first time on 15 December 2000 and elected Mr Ahmad Fathy Sorour as its Speaker for a new term.

STATISTICS
Round no 1 (18 October 2000): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 24 602 241

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total
National Democratic Party (NDP) 353
New Wafd Party 7
Coalition Party 6
Nasserite Party 3
Independents 72
Others 1

Comments:
  10 seats are attributed by the President of the Republic.
The two seats for Alexandria have not yet been attributed.
35 of the 72 independent candidates who were elected have joined the NDP, giving the NDP a total of 388 seats.
Among the remaining 37 independent candidates who won seats are 17 members of the Muslim Brotherhood, a banned fundamentalist movement.

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 443
Women: 11
Percent of women: 2.42


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Copyright 2000 Inter-Parliamentary Union