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      Egypt Begins Next Round of Elections - for Shura Council

      Egyptians trudged back to the polls again Sunday, this time to elect representatives to the Upper House of Parliament - the Shura Council.
      By Chana Ya'ar
      First Publish: 1/29/2012, 1:20 PM

      Muhammad Ali Mosque, Cairo
      Muhammad Ali Mosque, Cairo
      Flash 90

      Egyptians trudged back to the polls again Sunday, this time to elect representatives to the Upper House of Parliament. This second round of elections, for the Shura Council, is for the less powerful of the two legislative bodies.

      The body, which holds primarily consultative powers, is comprised of 270 seats, only two-thirds of which are held by elected individuals. The rest are appointees.

      There will be two phases of elections, with 13 provinces casting their ballots in Sunday's first round. A second stage will be held on February 14-15.

      The first set of elections was held in the last quarter of 2011 for the Lower House of the nation's Parliament. The Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party and Salafist Al Nour Party were the big winners, sweeping the majority of the seats in the Lower House of the Parliament.

      Last week, for the first time in 60 years, a member of the once-outlawed Islamist Muslim Brotherhood was elected Speaker of the Egyptian Parliament.

      Israel sent its greetings and congratulations to the Muslim Brotherhood for its victory in the elections.