This is the first time that Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood has been able to participate legally in elections, with its Freedom and Justice Party, FJP, which it founded this year. As in other key parts of the country, in the second-largest city, Alexandria, activists, feeling their time had come, could not contain their joy. They accompanied ballot boxes all the way to the counting station.
Even before the electoral results were tallied, the head of the FJP made clear he expected a major groundshift to take place in Egypt, where the military has ruled since the ouster of President Mubarak.
Mohamed Mursi, FJP leader, said: He said: “The majority in the upcoming parliament will form the government – a coalition. We think that will be for the best.”
The Muslim Brotherhood has not openly called for the establishment of an Islamic state, and yet its emergence as Egypt’s biggest opposition movement has been accompanied by surging support for the more conservative al Nour. This is a Sunni fundamentalist, Salafist, party, which espouses Islamic theology with a literalist and, some say, puritanical approach, and grassroots appeal.