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

South Korea Divided on Response to North’s Cyber Attack

In past five years, officials in Seoul have accused Pyongyang of hacking into banks, government websites, causing chaos and inflicting millions of dollars in damages More

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Bentiu

Residents have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy, but planning for the future remains uncertain as fear of attacks looms More

2015 Could Be Watershed for Syria Conflict

Republican control of US Senate in January could lead to more aggressive policy against IS militants in Syria - and against regime of Bashar al-Assad 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.
Jane Monheit Christmas Speciali
X
December 22, 2014 8:15 PM
Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Trade Talks Could Heat Up in 2015

With boosting trade a top priority for the Obama administration, 2015 may be the year that an agreement is finally reached on the Trans Pacific Partnership. But the trade deal, which is intended to boost trade between 12 Pacific countries, faces opposition as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school

All About America

AppleAndroid