UPDATE 1825 GMT: Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif gives the reassuring statement of the day: the fact that all ministers won their seats proves the government is popular.
UPDATE 1750 GMT: The Muslim Brotherhood have also withdrawn from the second round of the elections.
UPDATE 1440 GMT: Ahram Online confirms that the Wafd Party is withdrawing from the second round of the elections on Sunday.
Munir Fakhir Abdel Nur, the Wafd's Secretary-General, said, "We will withdraw from all the election. The two who won seats in the first round will also withdraw."
The leftist Tagammu party, which won one seat, said its six candidates would remain in the run-off. "We will remain a heavy stone on (the regime's) chest," said Tagammu leader Rifaat al-Said. Tagammu won one seat on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry has rejected statements by the US State Department and the White House denouncing violations in Sunday's first round.
Spokesman Hossam Zaki said the statements represent unacceptable meddling in Egyptian internal affairs. Zaki said Egypt wass disappointed by US claims that authorities suppress basic freedoms and hamper media coverage of elections, and he called on the US to employ greater objectivity and caution in its positions and responses.
UPDATE 1300 GMT: Students from the Muslim Brotherhood and socialist groups at Mansoura University have staged protests. Demonstrations are also reported today in Tanta and Zagazig.
UPDATE 1240 GMT: Interior Minister Habib El Adly denied abuses by security forces on Sunday, saying that the role of the Ministry during the elections was limited to “securing the process and maintaining the country's stability and safety, ensuring that citizens were getting a chance to vote without interference". He claimed that everal deaths during the electoral process were a result of unrelated accidents or natural causes.
Ramy Raouf, a member of the Task Force Against Violence, responded that witnesses across Egypt’s 29 governorates observed state security actively blocking voters from entering polling stations, and opened fire at several candidate supporters.
Amnesty International’s regional director Hassiba Hadjsahraouni said “if the Egyptian state does not investigate the violence that took place on elections day it is then endorsing it”.
Meanwhile, Minister of Information Anas El Fiqi placed blame for the “negative reports” on the international media, claiming that stories had been distorted to focus on incidents of violations.
UPDATE 0915 GMT: The breakdown on the 43% of the 508 seats declared for a victor in first-round voting: National Democratic Party 209, Opposition 7 (Wafd 3, leftist Tagammu 1, Ghad 1, Social Justice 1, Democratic Peace 1), Independent 7, Muslim Brotherhood 0.
The Brotherhood have 26 candidates in run-offs. Other opposition parties have 13.
Robert Worth and Mona el-Naggar of The New York Times report on Sunday's vote. Much of the information was carried in EA yesterday, notable the outcome of the seats declared so far: the landslide for the ruling National Democratic Party (latest reports have the NDP with more than 200 victories in the 508 races), 0 seats for the Muslim Brotherhood, currently the largest opposition party with 88 MPs, and "a handful" of wins for other opposition parties.
There are a couple of choice quotes, however. Hisham Kassem, newspaper publisher and human rights advocates, mixes sarcasm and resignation:
At least get creative in how you rig the elections. I was expecting a few more seats for the opposition.
Nothing can stun me now.
But perhaps the greatest "tribute" to alleged vote-rigging comes from the President of the Wafd Party, El-Sayed el-Badawy. Before the elections, it was rumoured that the party had struck a deal with the NDP to become the largest opposition group with 15-20 seats. So far, they only have two.
From defeat thus comes honour: el-Badaway said, "Now, after people see the results, I think we are owed an apology.”
Writing for Al Dustour, Ibrahim Eissa summarises:
What happened was completely natural and logical — forgery, fraud, interventions, violations and results in favor of the NDP.
What is new and what is worth the astonishment, wonder and condemnation? Did you believe the nonsense that the National Party leaders say?