Weren’t the Salafists and their supporters supposed to be a Tiny Minority of Extremists? “Main Islamist parties take 65% of second-round votes,” from Agence France-Presse, December 24:
AFP – Egypt’s main Islamist parties won 65 percent of votes for party lists in the second round of a historic election for a new parliament after Hosni Mubarak’s ouster, the electoral committee said Saturday.
These are the people who will be writing the country’s next constitution. A democracy is only as good as the values that inform its participants.
The [Muslim Brotherhood’s] Freedom and Justice Party won 36.5 percent of the vote for party lists, with 4,058,498 out of 11,173,818 votes, according to figures provided by the electoral committee for the second round which was held on December 14.
[The Salafists’] Al-Nur won 28.78 percent, with 3,216,430 votes.
In Egypt’s complex electoral system, voters cast ballots for party list candidates who will make up two thirds of parliament, and direct votes for individual candidates for the remaining third.
The elections were scheduled over three rounds, with run-offs for individual candidates after each round.
At a news conference on Saturday, electoral chief Abdel Moez Ibrahim announced the winners for the individual vote, but not their affiliations. The official Al-Ahram newspaper reported that the FJP won 40 seats and Al-Nur 13.
The Islamists’ liberal rivals fared badly again in the second round, with Al-Wafd — the country’s oldest party — winning 9.6 percent of the party list vote and the Egyptian Bloc, the main liberal coalition, just seven percent.
After winning almost 65 percent of seats in the first round of the vote, Islamists are poised to dominate the next lower house which will convene on January 23.
The third round of the election will start on January 3, followed by another three-round poll for the senate.
The FJP has said it would have the right to form the next government, but the ruling military and the prime minister it appointed have said parliament could not appoint ministers.
The military, which has faced down days of deadly protests in November and this month, says it will transfer power to civilians after a presidential election is held by the end of June next year.