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Muslim Bros. expected to pull candidates

A young girl carrying a banner reading ‘Where is my Father?’ at an anti-Mubarak demonstration at the Society of Lawyers in downtown Cairo on September 1, 2005. Under intense security measures and with hundreds of riot troops deployed, demonstrators from three opposition parties, including the banned Muslim Brotherhood, gathered outside the Union of Lawyers in downtown Cairo calling on the ouster of incumbent President Hosni Mubarak, the release of political prisoners and suspension of emergency (martial) law under which Egypt has been ruled for over two decades. (UPI Photo/Stewart Innes)
A young girl carrying a banner reading ‘Where is my Father?’ at an anti-Mubarak demonstration at the Society of Lawyers in downtown Cairo on September 1, 2005. Under intense security measures and with hundreds of riot troops deployed, demonstrators from three opposition parties, including the banned Muslim Brotherhood, gathered outside the Union of Lawyers in downtown Cairo calling on the ouster of incumbent President Hosni Mubarak, the release of political prisoners and suspension of emergency (martial) law under which Egypt has been ruled for over two decades. (UPI Photo/Stewart Innes) | License Photo

CAIRO, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- Egypt's opposition Muslim Brotherhood said it may pull its candidates after the ruling National Democratic Party won most of the seats in a weekend vote.

The ruling NDP, campaigning for political capital ahead of a potential 2011 re-election bid for President Hosni Mubarak, took nearly all of the seats decided in the first round of voting for the 508 seats in the Egyptian Parliament. The fate of the remaining 57 percent of the seats will be decided in a Dec. 5 runoff, though the Muslim Brotherhood said it may pull its candidates out of the contest, the BBC reports.

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The opposition group ignored early calls for a boycott, saying the best way to bring political reform to Egypt was by participating. The group complained in the weeks ahead of the vote of harassment and intimidation, condemning the process as far from free and fair.

The party, which fielded its candidates as independents because it's banned from the political process, didn't win a single seat during the first round of voting Sunday.

Washington, which counts Cairo as a key ally, expressed frustration with the political process. Mike Hammer, a spokesman for the U.S. National Security Council, said in a statement the White House was disappointed.

He said while Washington was monitoring the situation, "the lack of international monitors and the many problems encountered by domestic monitors, and the restrictions on the basic freedoms of association, speech and press in the run-up to the elections are worrying."

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