Islamists win Egypt’s last stage of polls

Islamists win Egypt’s last stage of polls

Islamists win Egypt’s last stage of polls

A veiled woman casts her vote at a polling station in Toukh, northeast of Cairo. REUTERS photo

The Muslim Brotherhood won more than a third of the votes in the last stage of elections for Egypt’s Lower House of Parliament, according to partial results Jan. 6, which show the Islamists are set to dominate the legislature.

The Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party list won 37.5 percent of the vote in the third and final stage of voting. Repeating a pattern seen in previous rounds, the hard-line Islamist Nour Party list came second in most of the districts after this week’s vote, results on the party website showed, according to Reuters.
The Islamists now look set to wield major influence over the shape of a new constitution to be drafted by a 100-strong body in the new legislature, though the Brotherhood has promised Egyptians all persuasions will have a say. Though the success of the Brotherhood and Nour Party has alarmed some Egyptians and the Western governments which backed Mubarak, it is unclear to what extent the rival Islamists will cooperate or compete with the new legislature.

The Nour Party seeks a strict application of Islamic law and some analysts believe the more moderate Brotherhood may seek an alliance with liberal groups to allay concerns regarding the prospect of an Islamist-led Egypt.

Meanwhile, according to an Al Arabiya website report, the Muslim Brotherhood has offered Washington assurances it would respect the 1979 peace accord with Israel, a top U.S. official said Jan. 5. “They have made commitments to us along those lines,” State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said when asked whether Washington believed the Islamist party would uphold the treaty.