Egypt begins voting in first round to elect new parliament

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Polls opened in Egypt on Saturday for parliamentary elections that will stretch over several weeks and are set to be dominated by supporters of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

A first round of voting will end on Sunday, with a second round on November 7-8. Run-offs will take place in late November and early December.

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The polls are being held under a new electoral law under which 50 percent of 568 contested seats will be allocated to pre-selected lists, a system critics say benefits Sisi’s backers.

The remaining contested seats will be allocated to individual candidates, and Sisi can appoint up to 28 legislators directly.

Mostaqbal Watn (Nation’s Future), which in August won nearly three-quarters of the contested seats in an election for Egypt’s Senate, an advisory body, is the favorite to come out top.

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