Egyptian police blocking voters as final round of parliamentary elections begin Jeannie Shawl at 10:43 AM ET
[JURIST] The final round of Egypt's legislative elections began Thursday, though riot police in some towns blocked access to polling stations in contradiction to government promises of free and fair elections. The cordoning-off of polling stations is thought to be related to the success of the Muslim Brotherhood [Wikipedia backgrounder] in earlier stages in the election. During the first two rounds of polling, candidates from the Islamic party won 76 seats in the 454-member parliament, more than five times its seats in the outgoing parliament, prompting the arrest of several hundred Brotherhood supporters [JURIST report] earlier this week. An advisor to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak [official profile] has said that the government will not allow the Brotherhood to become a legal political party [JURIST report] despite its gains in the elections. Mubarak's office says the ban is meant to keep religion from mixing with politics. AP has more.
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