Egypt’s Islamists again lead in 2nd round vote
Hazem Abu Ismail, a Salafist leader planning to run for presidency, votes at a polling station in Giza in this photo. Salafis win around 20 percent of the vote. AFP photoIslamist parties have consolidated earlier gains in Egypt’s multistage parliamentary elections, winning nearly 70 percent of the seats determined so far, according to results announced on Dec.24.
Election commission chief Abdel-Moez Ibrahim announced results from the second round of three rounds, which was held Dec. 14-15, followed by a run-off this week. The second round was held in nine provinces, and Ibrahim said turnout reached 65 percent. Based on the results he gave, the Muslim Brotherhood says it won around 86 of estimated 180 seats up for grabs in the round, or 47 percent.
The Al-Nour Party, the political arm of the ultraconservative Salafi movement, won around 20 percent of the vote.
The secular and liberal forces that largely drove Egypt’s uprising against former leader Hosni Mubarak were trounced, failing to turn their achievement into a victory at the polls. The secular alliance of Egyptian Bloc and youth Revolution Continues won less than 10 percent of the seats. The results mirror those from the first round of voting, held in late November, when the two blocs together won nearly 70 percent. A third round of voting is to be held Jan. 3-4. It is not expected to alter the result and could strengthen the Islamists’ hand. The election, which began on Nov. 28 and ends on Jan. 11, has been marred by a flare-up of clashes in Cairo between police and protesters demanding an immediate end to military rule. At least 17 people were killed in the protests, in which troops clubbed women and men even as they lay on the ground.
Compiled from AFP and Reuters stories by the Daily News staff