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Egypt's Islamist Parties Claim Second Round Victory

Egypt’s two leading Islamist parties say they have won the second round of a parliamentary election.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 12/19/2011, 7:15 AM

Egypt’s two leading Islamist parties said on Sunday their parties have secured about three-quarters of votes cast in the second round of a parliamentary election, Reuters reported.

A source from the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) told Reuters the party was on track to win about 40 percent of votes for party lists, based on results from most districts.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the ultra-conservative Salafi al-Nour Party told the news agency its list received about 35 percent of votes.

The second round of the voting in Egypt was held last Thursday in Giza, Luxor, Aswan and Ismaila.

In last month’s first poll, the Muslim Brotherhood claimed victory, winning about 40 percent of the ballots.

The once-outlawed Islamists’ Freedom and Justice party had won 34 seats in runoff elections, while Al Nour garnered another five seats, according to the group’s website.

While an official breakdown of results for the list vote has yet to be announced, Reuters noted that both parties' predictions after the first round were broadly accurate.

The FJP source was quoted as having said the 40 percent estimate was based on counting completed in 11 of the 15 second-round constituencies where seats will be allocated by party lists.

The Muslim Brotherhood distanced itself from Al Nour after the first round, saying it is “a moderate and fair party.”

Al Nour advocates for a strict interpretation of Sharia, where the sexes are segregated and women must be veiled and are barred from driving.

Meanwhile on Sunday, Egyptians entered a third day of deadly clashes between protesters and government forces on a street close to Cairo's Tahrir Square.

At least 10 people have been killed and more than 440 people have been injured so far, according to Egyptian Health Ministry figures cited by the Associated Press, as protesters continue to demand the military hand over power to a civilian authority.

The clashes began late Thursday after military police stormed a sit-in camp that the protesters have held outside the Cabinet building for the past three weeks.