News / Africa

Egyptians Await Poll Results; Strong Showing Expected for Islamists

Election officials count ballots for the parliamentary elections in Cairo, Egypt, November 30, 2011.
Election officials count ballots for the parliamentary elections in Cairo, Egypt, November 30, 2011.
TEXT SIZE - +

Results from the first round of Egypt's parliamentary elections are now expected Friday, after a number of technical glitches slowed down official tabulations.  Islamist groups including the Muslim Brotherhood are expected to have a strong showing, although the lengthy voting process means a final tally won't be known until January.

The party formed by the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s mainstream Islamist group, have reportedly taken about 40 percent of the vote, as expected.

The big surprise was the strong showing of ultraconservative Islamists, called Salafis, many of whom reject women’s participation in voting or public life.

Analysts in the state-run news media said early returns indicated that Salafi groups could take as much as a quarter of the vote, giving the two groups of Islamists combined control of nearly 65 percent of the parliamentary seats.

Abdel Rahman al Barr of the Muslim Brotherhood's Executive Bureau says that he expected Brotherhood candidates to win 75 seats in the first round. He noted, however, that it is still too soon to draw definitive conclusions, since two more rounds of polling have yet to take place:

He says we still have two more stages to go with more than two-thirds of the voting still to be accomplished, so the die is not cast.

Middle East scholar Fouad Ajami of the Hoover Institution says that it would be a mistake to read too much into a Muslim Brotherhood victory.

"So, they have won the first ballot, the MB, and if indeed they come to govern, which has always been their dream since 1928, in some kind of vague alliance with the military, so be it. Let's see what they can do,” said Ajami.

He says that many in the West are worried about the apparent Islamization of the Arab Spring, but he is taking a more wait-and- attitude before drawing any conclusions:

"Let these Islamists, whether in Morocco or Tunisia or Egypt....let them win. The first election will favor them, and let's wait," Ajami said. "Now that means another what, two years, four years, whatever many years. Then we'll see what the political universe looks like.”

Many political observers in Cairo, however, worry that time will not play in favor of democracy because the economy is slowly deteriorating.  Egypt subsidizes bread, sugar and other food items, leaving some to fear instability when the hard currency runs out. Ajami argues that such a crisis will put the Muslim Brotherhood, which has a reputation of looking out for the common man, to the ultimate test.

Heba Morayef of Human Rights Watch provides analysis of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood:


Join the conversation on our social journalism site - Middle East Voices. Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid