Egypt's Islamists led by the once-banned Muslim Brotherhood clinched two thirds of seats in Parliament in historic polls after the ouster of strongman Hosni Mubarak, official results showed on Saturday.

The Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) won 235 seats in the new People's Assembly, or 47.18 per cent, electoral committee head Abdel Moez Ibrahim told a news conference, giving the final results from marathon polls.

The FJP secured 127 seats on party lists and its candidates won another 108 in first-past-the-post constituency votes.

The ultra-conservative Salafist Al-Nur party came second with 121 seats or 24.29 per cent, and the liberal Wafd Party was third with nearly nine per cent.

The liberal Egyptian Bloc — which includes the Free Egyptians party of telecoms magnate Naguib Sawiris who is facing trial on allegations of insulting Islam — came fourth with around seven percent.

Landmark election

The landmark election was the first since Mr. Mubarak's overthrow last February. It began in November and was carried out in three stages.

The People's Assembly, or Lower House, is made up of 498 elected MPs and 10 appointed by the ruling military which took over after Mr. Mubarak quit last February 11. It will hold its first session on Monday.

“The train of democracy has entered the station and elected the first People's Assembly since the January 25 revolution,” Mr. Ibrahim said.

In Egypt's complex electoral system, voters cast ballots for party list candidates to make up two thirds of parliament, and direct votes for individual candidates for the remaining third.

Elections for Parliament's upper house, the Shura Council, are to begin later this month and conclude in February. Then the two chambers will choose a 100-member panel to draft a new constitution.

A new president will then be elected by June under the timetable set by the military rulers who announced that candidates can register for the presidency from April 15.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces has pledged to transfer power to civilian rule after a new president is elected but there is a widespread belief the SCAF will not do so.

The Brotherhood, Egypt's best organised political movement, had been widely expected to triumph in the polls through the FJP.

But, the surge by Al-Nur and the high visibility of Salafi movements have raised fears among the marginalised liberals about civil liberties and religious freedom.

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