With the government under pressure following two days of demonstrations, police were stationed outside Cairo polling stations for the vote.
The state-run Middle East News Agency (Mena) said that the interior ministry had set up “a tight security plan … to guard the polling stations from the outside”.
Tarek Zaghloul of the Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights told the AFP news agency that his group had decided not to formally monitor the elections.
“We took the decision because of the fact that opposition candidates have had such trouble registering and [the seats] are going straight to the ruling party,” he said
Zaghloul said his group had received reports that members of the opposition liberal Al-Wafd party had been banned from entering polling stations to vote, as well as reports of weak turnout.
Another organisation, the Egyptian Association for Supporting Democracy (EASD), said its observers were barred from entering polling stations in at least six provinces, and some were detained.
Voting was cancelled in the Nile Delta city of Mahalla el-Kobra after police had used tear gas as about 7,000 protesters hurled stones toward them on Monday.
|Textile workers celebrated after the
prime minister offered them a bonus [AFP]
One teenage boy was killed after a rubber bullet hit him at close range, Amr el-Kahky, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Egypt, said.
Egypt’s prime minister moved to calm the situation in Mahalla on Tuesday by offering workers a 30-day salary bonus and promising to address their concerns about healthcare and wages.
“We know Mahalla is suffering and you have passed through many crises,” Ahmed Nazif told workers at a state-run textle factory that employs 25,000 people.
“But it is through crises that men prove their mettle.”
Workers in the hall cheered Nazif, but many people remained sceptical about his promises.
“What Nazif has said, we’ve heard it all before, what’s new? They really have no idea how we suffer here,” Rashad Fathi, a factory worker who says his monthly wage of $34 is not enough to feed his four children, said.