Indications from the first round of voting in Egypt’s parliamentary election suggest Islamist parties have come out on top.
The outcome of this complex and lengthy vote will not be known until January, but the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party is believed to have done well from a turnout of 62 per cent. The once-banned Brotherhood had been expected to reap the benefits of decades of social and religious work in the community.
The more strictly Islamic Salafi al-Nour party also appeared to have polled strongly. That may unsettle many Egyptians, especially Christian Copts, who fear it will try to impose its tough religious codes on society.
Others fear the country’s military council may try to hold onto power come what may. The protesters who recently forced the army council to change the government are unlikely to welcome the announcement that the new prime minister intends to keep most of the old cabinet.
And in yet another indication of Egypt’s many factional divisions, supporters of the military leadership have also been on the streets. Against this fraught background the election process continues.
Islamists polling strongly in Egyptian vote