Egypt Begins Final Round of Lower House Vote

Posted January 3rd, 2012 at 7:45 am (UTC-5)
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Egyptians have begun voting in the final round of elections to choose members of the country's lower house of parliament.

Voting began Tuesday in nine provinces, including al-Gharbiya, North Sinai and South Sinai, the last areas to hold polls in a process that began in late November.

The two-day vote is part of Egypt's first parliamentary election since a popular uprising forced former president Hosni Mubarak from power in February.

Egypt's Islamist parties dominated the first two rounds of voting, which covered the country's other 18 provinces.

Egyptians will next vote for parliament's upper house. The country's military rulers said Sunday that election process will be sped up following deadly clashes in Cairo as protesters called for a quicker transition to civilian rule.

Under the new schedule, the voting will end February 22 with the full house holding its first sitting February 28, nearly a month earlier than previously expected.

The parliament will write a new constitution, and the ruling military council has promised to hand power to an elected president by July.