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Egypt's Interior Ministry has apologized for procedural mistakes reported so far in the first round of the People's Assembly elections, which kicked off on Monday, independent daily Al-Shorouk newspaper has reported.
The first stage of elections for Egypt's lower house of parliament was held in nine governorates, including Cairo.
"Pardon us for the mistakes. It's a totally new experience for all Egyptians," read the apology quoted on the newspaper's website, which did not provide any more details.
Several polling stations experienced voting delays, for three hours in some cases, due to authorities' failures to deliver ballots on time.
The High Elections Commission (HEC) blamed the Interior Ministry for the delays and declined to apologize to disappointed citizens.
In a press conference late Monday, following the end of the first day of the first round of voting, HEC head Abdel Moez Ibrahim said, "We will not apologize, you know those who caused the delay and it is them who should apologize."
On Monday, the HEC suspended voting in Luxor's Armant al-Heit's polling station after discovering that a policeman had been marking the name of a specific candidate on ballots.
Activist Ahmed Fawzy, who also heads the Egyptian Association for Community Participation Enhancement, told Al-Masry Al-Youm on Monday that certain parties are trying to spoil the electoral process by causing voting delays. He, however, did not name those parties.
During the last parliamentary elections in September 2010, the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s most organized political group, accused the former ruling National Democratic Party of rigging election results with the assistance of security authorities.