News / Middle East

Islamists Look to Extend Lead in Egypt Runoff Elections

A woman enters a polling station guarded by soldiers and police during the first round of Egypt's run-off parliamentary elections in Cairo, December 5, 2011.
A woman enters a polling station guarded by soldiers and police during the first round of Egypt's run-off parliamentary elections in Cairo, December 5, 2011.

Voters in Egypt's two largest cities - Cairo and Alexandria - and seven other provinces went to the polls Monday in the runoff for the first stage of the country's parliamentary elections, with Islamists looking to extend their commanding lead.

The runoffs that continue Tuesday are being held in all but four precincts where candidates secured the outright majority of more than 50 percent of votes in the first round.

Almost half of the 52 seats up for grabs are being contested by candidates from Egypt's two main Islamist groups: the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party and the ultra-conservative Salafist Nour Party.

Wins for either faction will add to their tally of seats from separate votes for party lists.  The two Islamist parties won a big majority of party-list ballots that voters cast at the same time they chose individual candidates last week.

Party-list results released Sunday put the Freedom and Justice party in the lead with 37 percent, with the Nour Party in second place at 24 percent and the liberal Egyptian Bloc in third with 13 percent.

Voter turnout for the runoffs was lower than the level seen last Monday and Tuesday, even as Egypt's election committee revised down the turnout figure for the first stage of the parliamentary election from 62 percent to 52 percent.

Residents of Egypt's remaining 18 provinces will cast ballots in the coming weeks in two stages of voting.  Elections for the less powerful upper house of parliament will begin in late January and finish in March.

Muslim Brotherhood leaders called on their rivals to "accept the people's choice."  Observers had expected the country's best-organized political movement to do well in the elections, the first since a popular uprising in February ousted autocratic President Hosni Mubarak.

The Brotherhood was officially banned for decades under Mubarak but its members continued to engage in politics as independents while establishing a nationwide network of charities popular with millions of impoverished people.

Egypt's Salafists shunned politics in the Mubarak era but decided to compete for parliament after the military council that took over from him promised free elections.

Followers of the Salafist Nour party advocate a strict interpretation of Islam that calls for segregation of the sexes, the full veiling of women and a ban on alcohol. The party's strong showing in the first round of voting has worried many liberal Egyptians who see it as a threat to their civil liberties.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level 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.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid