Islamist parties - the liberal FJP linked to Muslim Brotherhood and radical Salafists were cruising ahead with 65 per cent votes in the first round of Egyptian parliamentary polls, as the secular parties were trounced in regions in the first post-revolution elections.
Muslim Brotherhood’s new Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) received roughly 40 per cent of the vote and the main Salafist Al-Nur party between 20 and 25 per cent, the state media reported. The main liberal coalition, the Egyptian Bloc, won only 15 per cent.
Egyptians will return to the elections tomorrow for run-off votes from the first round of their parliamentary votes, whose final outcome will not be known until other parts of the country vote in two more rounds. The process will not be complete until January 11.
“We call upon everyone, and all those who associate themselves with democracy, to respect the will of the people and accept their choice,” Muslim Brotherhood said in a statement after the first-round vote. The vote drew an official turnout of 62 per cent.
“Those who weren’t successful ... should work hard to serve people to win their support next time,” its said.
Latest results from the Egyptian elections indicate that Islamist parties are likely to have a strong majority in the new parliament, the BBC reported.
However, most candidates will have to go through to two further rounds of voting over the next six weeks. The BBC described the elections as “arguably the first fully free and fair election in Egyptian history“.
“This is the first chance to see the strength of the Islamists, who look likely to win at least half of the seats in the new parliament. There are two very different sets of Islamists, and it is not at all certain that they will work together,” it said.