Egypt′s Muslim Brotherhood sweeps to victory in elections | Middle East| News and analysis of events in the Arab world | DW | 21.01.2012
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Middle East

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood sweeps to victory in elections

The Egyptian moderate Islamist party the Muslim Brotherhood has won almost half of the popular vote in elections, according to official results. The hard-line conservative Al Nour party finished second in the polling.

A man looks at election posters for the Freedom and Justice Party

The complex series of votes has been underway for months

The political wing of Egypt's moderate Islamist Muslim Brotherhood won 47.18 percent of the vote in the country's first parliamentary elections since the overthrow of former ruler Hosni Mubarak, according to official results.

The Democratic Alliance, headed by the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, took 235 of 498 seats in the assembly - 38 percent of the total – in a complex electoral process that has spanned several months.

Second in the polls was the ultra-conservative Al Nour party, which scored almost 25 percent of the vote to take 29 percent of the seats - 121 in total.

Two liberal, secular parties finished in third and fourth place, the Wafd party winning 9 percent of votes and the Egyptian Bloc taking 7 percent.

Loyalists to former president Hosny Mubarak won about 3 percent of seats in the new assembly.

The results, for the country's lower house, follow a marathon round of voting launched in November and carried out in three stages. Under the system, two-thirds of seats are decided by proportional representation on party lists and the remainder are contested by individual candidates on a first-past-the-post basis.

Elections for the less powerful upper house, the Shura Council, will be held in two stages, with elections taking place between January 29 and February 22.

Pathway to presidency

Following those elections, the two chambers will choose a 100-member panel to draw up the new constitution. A new president is then set to be elected no later than June, with candidates expected to register by April 15.

An Egyptian woman holds a banner

Recent months have seen increasing anger directed at the country's military

Since the overthrow of Mubarak, the Muslim Brotherhood has promised to improve the lives of the country's poor. It has also tried to take a more liberal path than the hard-line Salafist Al Nour, and an alliance between the two is seen as unlikely.

Although the country’s interim military government has said it will fully hand power over to the new parliament, suspicions remain that it will try to retain influence. The military has been an important part of Egyptian political life since 1952, with every president since emerging from the top ranks of the army. A crowd of anti-military activists took part in protests on Saturday in the capital Cairo.

Author: Richard Connor (AP, AFP, Reuters)
Editor: Kyle James

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