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      Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Wins Big in Final Round

      Egypt's once-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood won big in the third and final round of parliamentary elections last week.
      By Chana Ya'ar
      First Publish: 1/8/2012, 10:46 AM

      Egyptian soldiers at the Rafiah border
      Egyptian soldiers at the Rafiah border
      Flash 90

      Egypt's once-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood won big in the third and final round of parliamentary elections last week. The organization has vowed to leave the issue of how to deal with the country's peace treaty with Israel to the people of Egypt, vowing to hold a referendum on the matter once a government is in place. 

      The Islamist organization's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) won the highest number of votes, garnering at least 41 percent of the seats in the country's Lower House of parliament. The country's more extreme Salafi Islamist Nour Party took 20 percent of the of the seats.

      Islamists of various parties won nearly two-thirds of the 498 seats in the new "People's Assembly" so far, with Egypt's ruling military council appointing an additional ten members, according to the daily Al Ahram newspaper.

      Runoff elections are to be held Tuesday and Wednesday.

      It is the People's Assembly that will choose the 100-strong body who will draft the nation's new Constitution -- a fact that worries those who backed former President Hosni Mubarak and who have a more Western frame of mind.

      The new Lower House of the parliament is scheduled to hold its first session January 23, two days before the first anniversary of the Egyptian Revolution, referred to in the country as the "25 January Revolution."

      Elections for the Upper House of the parliament are scheduled to begin in the next few weeks, but presidential elections won't be held until June.