Islamists sweep Egyptian election

Egypt’s Islamist parties have won an overwhelming victory at the first parliamentary polls since last year’s uprising which led to the fall of the Hosni Mubarak regime, the country’s election authorities said.

According to final results announced on Saturday, the Freedom and Justice Party, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, has secured 235 of 498 seats in the People’s Assembly, or 38 per cent of the total. The ultra-conservative al-Nour party took 121 seats or 29 percent of the total.

Liberal Wafd and the Egyptian Bloc parties scored 36 and 33 seats, respectively, which gives them little hope for any influence on the country’s future.Egypt has a complex three-stage scheme of voting, where two-thirds of the seats are allocated to party list candidates, and the remaining third are contested by individual candidates. The voting took almost six weeks and ended January 11.

In line with Egypt’s election legislation, the chairman of the ruling Supreme Council of Armed Forces Mohamed Hussein Tantawi on Saturday appointed 10 additional lawmakers. The parliament’s newly elected 508-seat lower house is expected to convene for its first session January 23. The upper house, the Shura Council, will be elected in February-March 2012 and will begin its work March 24.

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