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Egypt's first free parliament gets to work

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Egypt's first free parliament gets to work


Egypt’s ruling military council has handed over legislative powers to the new Islamist-dominated lower house of parliament, which convened for the first time yesterday.

A year after the uprising which ousted President Hosni Mubarak, many Egyptians see the new parliament as the first sign of democratic rule in six decades.

While the mood was up beat there are concerns over the predominance of Islamist parties, which the leader of the Salafist Al Nour party, Emad Abdel Ghafour tried to dispel.

“We have a conviction that the current period requires cooperation between all the parties whether they have Islamist roots or not,” he said.

But with the Muslim Brotherhood securing almost half the seats some critics are comparing its grip on parliament as similar to that enjoyed by Mubarak’s National Democratic Party.

And there are anxieties over the exact role of parliament with much power remaining in the hands of the generals until the election of a new president.

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