The head of Egypt’s election commission announced on Friday that 62 percent of eligible voters took part in the initial round of Egypt’s first parliamentary elections since Hosni Mubarak’s ouster, The Associated Press reported.
The head of the election commission, Abdel-Mooaez Ibrahim, who said the turnout was “the highest since the time of pharaohs,” did not announce full results for the first round of the election. Those results were expected Friday, but were not available at the time this article was written.
According to preliminary counts leaked by judges and individual political groups, however, the Muslim Brotherhood’s political arm has taken the largest share of votes. On Thursday it was reported that the Muslim Brotherhood could take 45 percent of the seats up for grabs. The liberal Egyptian bloc coalition and the ultra-fundamentalist Nour party are competing for second place.
Together, Islamist parties are expected to control a majority of parliamentary seats by March. This week’s vote was the first of six stages of parliamentary elections that will last until then.
Ibrahim only announced results for some candidates who ran as independents but did not present results for political parties who put forward slates of candidates who will fill two-thirds of seats in parliament’s lower house.
He said four individual candidates, two of them from the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, won more than 50 percent of votes to gain outright victory out of 56 seats contested. The rest will require a run-off, according to a report in Reuters.
Ibrahim added that more than eight million voters cast ballots in the first round and added that while there were difficult conditions during the vote and the count, the election had been a victory for Egypt.
“The winner is the great Egyptian people,” he was quoted by AP as having said.
Meanwhile, Reuters reported that protesters were out again in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Friday, to mourn the deaths of 42 people killed last month in demonstrations demanding that the generals who took over from Mubarak resign immediately.
One of them told Reuters, “Without Tahrir, we wouldn’t have had these elections.” He added that he hopes that “the elections will succeed and the revolution will triumph.”
If the Muslim Brotherhood indeed wins the first stage of the elections it is planning to cause Egypt to adopt an anti-American line and to support the Palestinian Authority (PA) in its terrorist war against Israel.
The Muslim Brotherhood party’s platform defines the “Palestinian problem” as “the most serious problem in terms of Egypt’s national security” because “the Zionist entity is racist, seeks to build settlements and expand, is aggressive, possesses weapons of mass destruction, has caused many wars in the region, influenced the geographical, political, social and economic situation and torpedoed plans for development.”
The group held a “kill the Jews” rally in Cairo last Friday, in which thousands of supporters promised to “one day kill all the Jews” and wage war against Jerusalem’s “Judaization.”
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)