Chronology: Egypt

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Oct. 16: Egypt began constructing a security fence around the Red Sea resort of Sharm al-Sheikh to deter attacks on the city after more than 60 people were killed in suicide attacks there in July. [BBC, 10/18]

Egyptian authorities ordered the release of five members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood, including Essam el-Erian and Yasir 'Abduh, who were detained May 6 with three other group leaders, hours before nationwide anti-government protests that police alleged they had organized. Abdou had been held without charges for five months. [AP, 10/16]

Oct. 22: Three died in riots around a Coptic church in Alexandria to denounce a play deemed offensive to Islam. The head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Pope Shenouda III, canceled a trip to Alexandria for his annual Ramadan fast-breaking meal with Muslim officials because of the violence. Instead he issued a joint statement with Egypt's highest Islamic authority, Grand Shaykh of al-Azhar, Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi,that urged Christians and Muslims not to resort to violence. [BBC, 11/22]

Oct. 24: The Egyptian government announced it would allow local civic groups to monitor legislative elections scheduled for November 9 if they obtained approval from the state-sponsored National Human Rights Council. [The Daily Star, 11/9]

Oct. 29: Egypt's Attorney General cleared al-Ghad Party leader Ayman Nur of bribery charges due to lack of evidence, easing the pressure on the embattled opposition leader ahead of parliamentary elections. He still faced separate charges of forging documents for the creation of his party, for which he remained in jail. [Reuters, 10/29]

Nov. 9: Egyptians voted in the first round of parliamentary elections, the first such elections since 2000. Turnout remained low, at one-fourth of the electorate, and voting fraud was widely reported by opposition members amidst heavy plain-clothes state-security presence. In the results, Ayman Nur, one of the top opposition leaders, lost his parliamentary seat to the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) candidate. [BBC, 11/9]

Nov. 15: At least four opposition supporters were killed and scores injured as violence marred runoffs in Egypt's first phase of parliamentary elections amid accusations of vote-rigging leveled at the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP). [The Daily Star, 11/ 15]

Nov. 16: President Husni Mubarak's NDP won 112 of 164 contested seats in the first of the three rounds of Egypt's parliamentary elections. Independents won 47 seats in two days of voting, with Muslim Brotherhood members making up 34 of the independents, a dramatic rise from the 15 held previously by the banned organization. [BBC, 11/16]

Nov. 20: Egyptians voted in the second round of parliamentary elections. Egyptian election monitors called for voting at some polling centers to be suspended after reports of police preventing voters from reaching the stations and beating voters to prevent them from casting ballots. …