Cablegate: Egypt's People's Assembly Elections: Initial
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 CAIRO 008556
NSC STAFF FOR SINGH
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KDEM EG
SUBJECT: EGYPT'S PEOPLE'S ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS: INITIAL
RESULTS FROM ROUND ONE
REF: A. CAIRO 8555
B. CAIRO 8554
C. CAIRO 8546
D. CAIRO 8501
Sensitive but Unclassified. Please protect accordingly.
1. (SBU) Summary: As of midday on November 10, the
Parliamentary Elections Commission issued results for 43 of
88 districts competed in the first round of People's Assembly
elections. As anticipated, many races have gone to a runoff
stage, which will take place on November 15. There have been
decisive results in a number of other significant races. In
one result that will be controversial, leading opposition
figure Ayman Nour lost his seat to a retired State Security
Colonel. End summary.
2. (SBU) Although results, and rumors of results, began to
spread around Cairo overnight, it was not until around 0730
local Cairo time that Judge Intisar Nessim of the
Parliamentary Elections Commission went on State TV to convey
official results for 43 of the 88 constituencies competed
yesterday. (There are a total of 222 constituencies - the
remainder will be competed in a second stage on November 20
and a third stage on December 1.)
3. (SBU) A senior aide to Gamal Mubarak contacted ECPO
Counselor late on the evening of November 9 to provide the
NDP's spin on the elections, which he described as very
successful. He accurately forecast a number of the results.
4. (SBU) A number of key ruling NDP figures were victorious
in the first round. These included:
-- Minister of PA Affairs Kamal el-Shazly.
-- Minister of Housing Ibrahim Soliman.
-- Mubarak's Chief of Staff, Zakaria Azmy.
-- PA Speaker Fathy Surour.
5. (SBU) In the closely-watched race for one of two seats at
stake in Central Cairo's Qasr al-Nil district, Gamal Mubarak
associate Hossam Badrawy will face a runoff against Hisham
6. (SBU) Opposition party candidates running under the
"National Front for Change" banner appear to have fared
poorly. Mounir Abdel Nour, the prominent Coptic businessman
and leader of the Wafd party's modest bloc in the PA lost his
seat in Cairo's Waily district to NDP candidate Shireen Abdel
7. (SBU) In perhaps the most tense race of the round, the
embattled Ghad Party leader Ayman Nour, who placed second to
Mubarak in the September presidential election, was defeated
by Yahya Wahdani, a retired Colonel in the State Security
service. Nour and his supporters have alleged credibly that
Wahdani benefited from the overt and active support of local
security authorities, including direct threats and
intimidation of key community leaders and prominent Nour
8. (SBU) The scene in Nour's Bab al-Shariya district, visited
by emboff on November 9, foretold the result. Wahdani's
campaign had saturated the area with banners, loudspeaker
trucks, and thuggish-looking young supporters. The
relatively few Nour supporters who ventured onto the streets
were drowned out. Ghad Party sources alleged that Nour's
wife Gameela Ismail was roughed up by police in the district
on November 9, but have offered few details, and we have not
been able to reach her for comment. Nour and supporters will
almost certainly contest the result in court, but this will
be an uphill battle.
9. (SBU) The Muslim Brotherhood's full court press in this
year's PA elections appears to be yielding results:
-- MB candidate Hazem Abou Ismail defeated NDP fixture Amal
Osman, Deputy PA speaker and one of only six female
candidates the ruling party is fielding this fall.
-- In the eastern suburb of Nasr City, independent MB
candidate Essam Mokhtar handed a defeat to another of the
NDP's six female candidates, Thoraya Labena.
-- In Helwan, prominent MB figure Ali Fateh al-Bab defeated
NDP candidate Mohamed Mostafa.
-- The MB's only female candidate, Makaram al-Derry, who
attracted international media attention for her vocal
rejection of feminism, will go to a runoff against the
favorite, NDP candidate Mustafa Salab.
-- MB candidates will also move to runoffs on Tuesday in at
least five more constituencies.
10. (SBU) Comment: The timely issuance of results was a test
for the newly formed Parliamentary Elections Commission,
which was only legislated into existence in the spring.
(Previously, the Ministry of Interior was responsible for
administering the elections and tabulating results.) The
unprecedented participation of domestic monitors, who were
out in all constituencies and who have already begun to
comment on the conduct of the polls (ref A), will provide
more details and commentary on the counting process. End