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Egyptís NDP rebuffs call for foreign poll monitors
2010-11-17 03:00:05

The Nation Press -

CAIRO - Egypt's ruling party has rejected as "interference" calls, including by Washington, to allow foreign observers to monitor this month's parliamentary elections, media reports said Wednesday.

The National Democratic Party's secretary general Sawfat al-Sharif said only local groups would be allowed to observe the November 28 poll.

"Foreign monitoring is considered an interference in Egypt's affairs," Al-Ahram newspaper quoted Sharif as saying. "The National Democratic Party and legal opposition groups reject any such interference," he added.

US State Department spokesman Phillip Crowley told reporters on Monday that Washington supported free elections in Egypt.

An open electoral process, he said, "would include a credible and impartial mechanism for reviewing election-related complaints, a domestic election observation effort according to international standards and the presence of international observers."

The last election in 2005 was marred by violence and allegations of fraud by judges who supervised the ballot count.

The largest opposition group in parliament, the Muslim Brotherhood, registers its candidates as independents because of a ban on religious parties.

The movement won a fifth of parliament's seats in the last election, although police closed down polling stages towards the end of the vote. It is expected to win fewer seats this year after a crackdown on the Islamists.

A Brotherhood leader said on Tuesday that police have arrested 600 of its members in the run up to the election. About 250 remain in jail, according to the group.

The government says the election will be transparent and that it has set adequate mechanisms for dealing with complaints of irregularities.

Egypt's parliament has little power and is dominated by the National Democratic Party of President Hosni Mubarak, who has ruled since 1981.

Rights groups in Egypt say the election has already been compromised by arrests of opposition activists and new restrictions on companies that provide foreign media with satellite feeds.

Source : Thenation press servecis
UkomnfDW - Nadin
There are various ssetyms of PR but they all share a feature - they try or (more or less) make sure that the number of votes roughly reflects the number of seats gained.Single Transferable Vote (STV) used in council elections in Scotland has multi-member wards and you number candidates 1,2,3 .... in order of preferance.Avoiding the maths, imagine 99 people in a room and you were trying to elect 4 people. A group of 20 should get their man/woamn elected ... but that only leaves a group of 19 whose candidate will fail. So everyone who wants to be elected stands against a wall and everyone else queues up in front of them A queue of 20 means you are elected. Surplus people can move on to help elect someone else. The poor soul with just 2 people can give up and join another queue. Eventually you should end up with 4 queues of at least 20 ... and some remmant. The numbers on the ballot paper are simply instructions about the queues.For the Scvottish Parliament, the system is different and is know and Additional Member (AMS). We elect constituency MSPs by first past the post (as Westminster) and then additional members are added to correct the unproporional nature of the system. With 16MSPs ina region, a party with over 6% of the vote SHOULD get some representation (but it does depend a little on a few other factors). By contrast First past the post used for Westminsiter, only requires and MP gto get more votes than anyone else. There have been MPs elected on just 29% of the vote ... just a few percent ahead of their nearest rival. Sorry for long post ... but you did ask!
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