Cairo, Jan 22: Egyptian Islamist parties have swept the parliamentary polls, with an alliance of ultraconservative Islamists winning about 25 percent of seats, and the Muslim Brotherhood winning about 47 percent of the seats.
The military council leading Egypt since Hosni Mubarak’s ouster said it would keep Parliament in a subordinate role with little real power until the ratification of a constitution and the election of a president, both scheduled for completion by the end of June.
According to The New York Times, the remaining roughly 30 percent of parliamentary seats, the next largest share, was won by the Wafd Party, a liberal party recognized under Mubarak and with roots dating to Egypt’s colonial period.
It was trailed by a coalition known as the Egyptian Bloc.
It included the Free Egyptians, a business-friendly liberal party founded by a Coptic Christian businessman, Naguib Sawiris.
According to the paper, the tally, with the two groups of Islamists together winning about 70 percent of the seats, indicates the deep cultural conservatism of the Egyptian public, which is expressing its will through free and fair elections for the first time in more than six decades.
But the two Islamist groups have described very different visions and appear to be rivals rather than collaborators.
The Brotherhood has said it intends to respect personal liberties and will focus on economic and social issues, while, ultraconservatives, known as Salafis, put a higher priority on legislation on Islamic moral issues, like the consumption of alcohol, women’s dress and the contents of popular culture. (ANI)