Islamists take lead in first stage of Egypt's parliamentary elections

Sixty-two percent of Egyptians voted in this first round of parliamentary elections, the highest turnout in the country's electoral history. [Ahmed Jadallah/Reuters]

Sixty-two percent of Egyptians voted in this first round of parliamentary elections, the highest turnout in the country's electoral history. [Ahmed Jadallah/Reuters]

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The initial stage of the first parliamentary elections held in Egypt after the January 25th Revolution concluded with Islamists, led by the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists, gaining a sizable vote lead over secular parties.

The High Elections Commission announced the results of the first stage in a press conference on Friday evening (December 2nd), indicating that the Freedom and Justice party, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Salafist al-Noor party won nearly 60% of the votes combined in the first stage. Secular party blocs came in second place, among them the Egyptian Bloc, which comprises three parties, and the Revolution Continues Coalition.

Parliamentary elections are being held for the People's Assembly in three stages over two months, the first of which began on Monday (November 28th). The final stage will conclude on January 10th.

Nine provinces in first stage

The first stage involved nine provinces: Cairo, Alexandria, Damietta, Fayoum, Assiut, Luxor, the Red Sea, Kafr El-Sheikh, and Port Said.

In Port Said, Freedom and Justice took 32.5% of votes, while the hard-line al-Noor party captured 20.7%, state-owned al-Ahram reported. The liberal Wafd party won 14%, while the moderate Islamist party al-Wassat recorded 12.9%

In the Red Sea district, the Brotherhood's alliance won 30%, while the Egyptian Bloc was second with 15%.

In this stage, 3,809 individual and party-list candidates competed for 168 seats, 2,357 of whom competed for 56 individual candidate seats and 1,452 competed for 112 party-list seats.

The elections are held using a mixed system that allocates two thirds of the seats to party-list candidates and one third to individual candidates. Results of the individual candidate seat races are announced at the end of each stage, while the results of the party-list races are announced at the end of the third stage. The People's Assembly, the lower house of parliament, consists of 498 seats.

Only a few candidates won their seats outright. A runoff round will be held in 27 districts on December 5th and 6th for the remaining seats. The winners must take at least 50% of the votes cast. Most of the races involve Muslim Brotherhood candidates competing against candidates from other political parties and independents. No women were elected or advanced in this first round of voting.

Voter turnout "exceeded all expectations"

Abdel Moess Ibrahim, Chairman of the High Elections Commission, said that the 62% voter turnout "exceeded all expectations".

Ibrahim said the total number of registered voters amounted to 13.6 million voters, 8.4 million (62%) of whom participated in the elections, the highest turnout rate in the history of Egyptian elections. Even with the "election fraud during the regime of former President Mubarak, the turnout rate never reached this level", Ibrahim said.

Dr. Abdul Ghaffar Shukr, a Popular Alliance party leader, said the Islamists, especially the Muslim Brotherhood, have extensive experience in the electoral process that is superior to that of the liberals and leftists. They also have immense financial and human resources that helped them run very effective election campaigns in the nine provinces in which the first stage of the elections were held.

"The same is expected to be repeated in the second and third phase, as millions of Egyptians continue to favour the religious trend due to the failure of the liberals and leftists to promote their ideas and convince citizens that they are fit to lead post-revolution Egypt," he told Al-Shorfa.

Ali Abdel-Aal, a political analyst and specialist in Islamist groups, said that the competition in the first stage was strictly between the Islamists, namely the Muslim Brotherhood, the Salafists, the Islamic Group, and al-Wasat party, which has a mass following manyprovinces.

"Despite the failure of these Islamist groups to run under one electoral alliance, they all adhered to the democratic process and no conflicts or fighting erupted between them as was expected before the elections," he said.

"The questions now revolve around the predominance of Islamists in the next parliament, the shape of the new majority government they will form, and their orientations, which will translate into enforceable legal resolutions," he said.

Ahmad Fawzi, an expert with the Independent Coalition of Election Monitoring, told Al-Shorfa, "There were numerous abuses and irregularities in the election, but they do not invalidate the electoral process. This was the fairest election to take place in Egypt in 40 years."

Fawzi said that the most notable violations were exceeding the allowable campaign budget of 500,000 pounds ($833,000), of which all parties are guilty, and continuing to campaign during the voting process which is a violation of HEC rules.

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    أسلامي

    2012-1-7

    It is certain that the future of Egypt will be much better with the coming of the Islamists to power. In fact, they will give a taste and color to the rule, and they must apply the laws. This is in order to achieve the country’s stability. Besides, Islamists are the only persons who can solve these problems. In fact, Egyptians are in a developed stage of civilization and they have too much freedom in all aspects. Thus, those who will take power among the Islamists must work on saving Egypt from this dangerous phenomenon, because this has negatively affected the youth, who have become addicted to drugs, pills and alcohol. And this can threaten the Egyptian youth’s life and future.

  • حمدان

    2012-1-3

    I do not think that this comparison is proper and I do not think that the Salafi movement will serve the interests of this country. Egypt is a tourist country and it includes many tourist areas that are wide open, such as the pyramids, Alexandria and Sharm El Sheikh, which is the most popular region in Egypt in terms of tourism. Foreign and Arab tourists come to it extensively, so as to enjoy the tourist atmospheres in it. Therefore, if the Salafi achieved success and attained the leadership of the country, surely they will impose their Salafi behavior and change Egypt from an open country into a greatly closed one. They will probably close many of those tourist regions or close the door of entertainment in them. This will make a lot of tourists stop coming to Egypt, and they will probably search for another place. Here, there will be a great impact on the economic aspect in Egypt. The unemployment numbers will increase more and more after tourism stops. We know very well that tourism in Egypt is one of the most important aspects which brings hard currency into the country and very greatly contributes to its economy; it is one of the aspects that the country depends on. Therefore, as an Egyptian citizen, I do not support the idea that the Salafi could have an absolute leading role in the country at this stage in particular, because they will want to prove themselves and carry out the reforms that they have been calling for since Mubarak’s time, and they will implement them in a way that will harm the country. Those who can benefit us in leading a country like Egypt which contains different religions are the secularists, as they are the ideal ones to lead this period. With the existence of freedom and democracy, the image is completed. Egypt will move in the right direction, God willing, towards improving the economic situation, providing work, helping the poor and enhancing the situation of paying attention to children and other problems from which the people were suffering during Mubarak's time.

  • نصرالدين علي

    2012-1-2

    It is necessary for the Judiciary to examine the cases and for us to get rid of poverty, famine, corruption, unemployment and ignorance. We also have to cooperate in order to reconstruct Egypt and ensure progress and advancement once again. Besides, we must eradicate anything that has a relationship with the past. In addition, the sons of Egypt must cooperate and avoid racism, sectarianism, dissension and hatred among them, given that they are the sons of Egypt and have all lived under the same roof. This means that they have experienced the same suffering, dictatorship, oppression, tyranny, cruelty and extreme brutality. Therefore, if Islamists win the elections, they must be united rather than scattered. They must also deal with all people in the same way, away from any kind of dissension, racism, discrimination or oppression of people. This will certainly serve the interests of all people and maintain security and stability in Egypt.

  • نذير حمدي

    2012-1-2

    Whoever will take the reins in Egypt must be fair and equitable and contribute to improving the conditions in this country. He must also work on providing all kinds of services for the sons of Egypt. There must not be any kind of injustice, oppression and tyranny. In addition to that, the ruling party must welcome any step taken by Egyptians concerning submitting complaints, the injustices and their sufferings, so as to support and help them in the best ways. Besides, the government must not be unjust, oppressive or overbearing, with respect to laws or regulations.

  • سلمان عبدالله

    2012-1-2

    The victory of the Islamists in Egypt will bring about a lot of achievements for many sons of Egypt, namely the eradication of the current corruption and the moral delinquency within the Egyptian community, given that this is exactly what the Egyptians have asked for. In fact, they have called for the eradication of corruption and other issues, like poverty, famine, unemployment and a considerable lack of service provision. Thus, the victory of the Islamists will change a lot of things in Egypt, given that the latter has been the victim of corruption, injustice, violence, criminality, brutality and a tyrannical and oppressive dictatorship for thirty years or more. However, some people are very afraid that the Islamic change may have an impact on democracy, freedom and secularism in the country. They are afraid that Egypt will be a restricted country, and maybe some people think that it will be a source of curses, terrorism and criminality, since the Islamists in Egypt are groups that are terrorizing people because of their adherence and religious fanaticism. Yet, it is necessary to have a different situation, so that the rule will not be confined to one party and the Egyptians will not feel injustice anymore. In fact, Egyptians have the right to select the suitable person for them, especially since they have gone through a long period of moral, social and administrative corruption, in addition to a great decline in terms of religion in the country, especially since Egypt is an Arab Muslim country with a Muslim majority. Therefore, many people think that it is worthier that the rule will be Islamic there and that it is time for change. Besides, the era of corruption, debauchery and injustice is gone once and for all.

  • [email protected]

    2011-12-25

    The Egyptian people support the police and the army, and I swear that the demonstrators represent a minority that does not exceed 1% of the Egyptian people, who love their country and refuse to destroy it. This is a group of thugs who want to set fire to the cabinet. They attack the army with the aim of destroying everything. They stir things up whenever it calms down. We seek God's help against them. Long live all the Egyptian army and death to all the traitors and agents. Long live all the Egyptian army and death to all the traitors and agents. Long live all the Egyptian army and death to all the traitors and agents. Long live all the Egyptian army and death to all the traitors and agents. Long live all the Egyptian army and death to all the traitors and agents. Long live all the Egyptian army and death to all the traitors and agents. Long live all the Egyptian army and death to all the traitors and agents. Long live all the Egyptian army and death to all the traitors and agents. They are the best soldiers on earth.

  • عبد الرحيم المندلاوي

    2011-12-25

    Egypt is dear to us and it is sorrowful to see the enemies of the revolution and the army of Mubarak and Gamal Mubarak, as well as the leaders of the police, working on thwarting the Egyptian revolution. However, we have great hopes in the Egyptian people, and we hope that the revolution will succeed and we will get to the safe side. I objected to the long schedule of the elections; about a month and a half. I felt that it would have been better to shorten the period of the elections to one week, given the sensitivity of the situation in the transitional period.

  • وجيد قادر

    2011-12-22

    Thanks to the brave armed forces, who are the honorable men of the nation! We urge you to harshly punish the oppressing people. Stop spying on Egypt! We have to use force and strength and disregard this group of people. They do not represent the Egyptian people. Those who represent the Egyptian people are the ones who voted in the elections, not the people who were playing soccer in front of the Prime Minister’s Building. They are not revolutionists.

  • معتز ناصر

    2011-12-21

    This is the reply to any violation of the rebels’ demands and choices against whoever tries to steer the revolution away from its path. Honestly speaking, Egyptians must beware of the Military Council and its future movements, given that it will not accept the current situation in Egypt. It will also continue to hamper the wheel of the new Islamic democracy in Egypt, because it will be against the interests of the Western superpowers. In fact, this has annoyed the leaders of the Military Council and its Zionist masters… I would like to greet the brave Egyptian army and I hope that it will revolt against its leaderships, which are surrendering to the West… You should be a little more reasonable.

  • emad zayed

    2011-12-16

    If the Muslim Brotherhood assumes power, we will leave Egypt for them to destroy it more and more.

  • محمود الشربينى 01110370590

    2011-12-14

    Democracy means submission to the will of the people, right? However, some people consider that this is good for them, but bad for us.

  • ابو مخلص لله

    2011-12-12

    This is shameful for you to say this about the Muslim Brotherhood. Those who destroyed Egypt are known, but it seems that you are an idiot.

  • مها

    2011-12-12

    Fix the conditions of Egypt, enough!

  • محمود سالم

    2011-12-10

    To be clear, the country will be destroyed under the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood or the others.

  • محمدفرج

    2011-12-10

    We ask God to help Egypt get through this crisis in Egypt during these difficult days. However, we all hope to get to the safe side and enjoy the fruits of the revolution. We should stop fearing the coming days, which will be better than ever.

  • محمود الطاير

    2011-12-9

    O God! Provide us with righteous rulers. Amen, O Lord of the Worlds.

  • mahmoud helal

    2011-12-9

    Why do you fear the Islamic rule? Aren’t we Muslims?

  • احمد حمدي

    2011-12-9

    I thank you for your respectable efforts and I think that the future can never be better. Everything that I wish for this country is success and progress.

  • الجندي

    2011-12-8

    The victory will be to the Muslims, God willing, and Islam will achieve victory despite the stupid people, with all due respect to all. Egypt is a Muslim state and the Egyptian people, including the Muslims and the Christians, are religious. A non-Muslim novelist once said that Mohammad, the apostle of Islam, could solve the world’s problems while drinking a cup of tea.

  • MoHamed abrahim

    2011-12-8

    Dear sister Bousi, I think that if the Muslim Brotherhood ruled the country, they would fix things, but you say that you would leave the country. Hence, I think that you have done something wrong.

  • محمد

    2011-12-8

    O Bousi, Egypt will never be destroyed, because the Muslim Brotherhood is a group that fears God and observes him. Muhammad Fathi, Alexandria.

  • عاطف رشاد محمود

    2011-12-8

    It is natural for the foreign and non-Islamic states to resort to secularism as a natural result of altering the Torah and the Gospel and all the remaining Holy Scriptures except the Quran. This alteration made these Books incapable of providing the explanation of the religious and the worldly affairs in the correct way that leads to achievement of justice. As for the Islamic states, they must adhere to the Quran and the Sunnah, because they are key factors to their grandeur and dignity. The sharia on earth proved that it is natural to find that the Islamic state ruled the world only 20 years after the death of the Prophet, peace be upon him, and spread peace and equality, because Islam is the religion of equality. This is not true of any other religion

  • محمد عبدة

    2011-12-8

    No to the Muslim Brotherhood… O God! Raise the banners of the truth and the religion all over the earth and provide the Al-Nour Party with success.

  • محمد عبدة

    2011-12-8

    No…. No to the Muslim Brotherhood. O God! Raise the banners of the truth and the religion everywhere on earth. O God! Grant success to the Al-Nour Party.

  • أحمد محمد متولى

    2011-12-8

    O ye who believe! If ye help God, He will help you and will make your foothold firm.

  • malloka

    2011-12-8

    Why do you want this, Bousi? They will not fix things as long as you are not upright. O God! Support Islam and Muslims.

  • مصراوى

    2011-12-8

    The Islamists‎ will rule Egypt, God willing. Go to hell, O Bisbis, along with those who know you.

  • تيكو

    2011-12-8

    Seriously, I do not want the Al-Nour Party to win, because I prefer the Reform and Development party.

  • مصطفي

    2011-12-8

    Do people want corruption and immorality? No…No…No…No… we want it to be Islamic.

  • مصطفى

    2011-12-8

    O God! Make the future of Egypt better.

  • ادهم

    2011-12-8

    Liar!

  • أبو علي

    2011-12-8

    Boosy! The Muslims will treat you according to the teachings of God, i.e. with goodness! You will have all your rights and even more! But, if you would like to work in a bar or a pub in Rome, Paris or Texas, then be my guest!

  • محمد كابو

    2011-12-8

    God willing, the Freedom and Justice Party will win!

  • AHMED

    2011-12-8

    The least thing that could be said to someone like you, Boosy: God will give victory to his religion every time! The country will not improve unless we follow the Sharia of God! I don’t know your identity, but whoever you are, you should know that we will gain pride only by following the Sharia of God, whether we are Muslims or Christians! The Copts did not see any security throughout the years, except when they were living with Muslims! Go back to history and you will know that what I am saying is the truth! I pray to God to give guidance to you and us!

  • عبدالله لطفي

    2011-12-8

    You tried taking out loans, corruption, oppression, injustice, the spread of diseases and prostitution. Try the Muslim Brotherhood and see what they will do. We should give them a chance; if they make a mistake, we will hold them accountable. If they do something good, then we should reward them by extending their time in power. Their time in power should be for a period of time. Isn’t that the democracy that we were calling for? Right?

  • sofya

    2011-12-7

    God willing, the Muslim Brotherhood will rule and they will fix it!

  • على السيد

    2011-12-7

    I don’t agree with the Muslim Brotherhood! They will ruin the country. Their interests are more important than ours!

  • غادة

    2011-12-7

    God bless you, God bless you!

  • tarek

    2011-12-7

    Your head is messed up; the Islamists will fix it for you, or break it!

  • فاروق

    2011-12-7

    The integrity of the al-Nour Party is obvious, even if we have a small number of parliament seats!

  • Totti

    2011-12-7

    God willing, Egypt will be better. We will notice steady progress as soon as possible, God willing. As for the thought that if the Muslim Brotherhood rules, they will ruin the country, I actually hear that a lot. Yet, no one says why they think so and they do not give a convincing reason or discussion. Why don’t they discuss it with someone from the Muslim Brotherhood? I am really amazed that someone hates another when he does not even know him, or loves him when he does not know him. This is the problem: we hear one side of the story or one view. This is not good in terms of elections or anything else.

  • محمد رافت

    2011-12-7

    Leave now, because it seems they will be the majority! However, if they were to ruin it, they would have done that a long time ago!

  • او كريم

    2011-12-7

    O God, I hope the Muslim Brotherhood rule Egypt and apply the Sharia!

  • رضا الرشيدى

    2011-12-7

    We ask God to enable his slaves on earth and pave the way before the spread of Islam on earth.

  • محمد بحر ابو الحمد

    2011-12-7

    Thanks to God.

  • zizoaahmed

    2011-12-7

    In the name of God, the Most Merciful, the Ever Merciful. Islam is the solution. What is the destination of the procession of the Egyptian people? Where are the youth of the 25th of January?

  • محمد يونس

    2011-12-7

    The elections in Egypt will proceed smoothly, which is what everybody wants. All the political organizations and trends, including the secularists and the Islamists, with all their different ideological leanings and persuasions, are unanimous on ensuring the success of the upcoming parliamentary elections in Egypt. As such, I think that these elections will be very successful, and they will achieve their aims in terms of electing those whom the Egyptian people want to represent them in the parliament, a practice that has been missing in the past, due to the actions of the regime that controlled the electoral process. This led to election fraud taking place in Egypt in the past, and the stealing of the votes of the Egyptian voters in a way that affected the electoral process as a whole. So, I think that now the situation is different for the upcoming elections, in which the Egyptian people will have their say, which is something that was denied in the past by the dictatorial regime and those who set themselves up as the overlords of this people.

  • محمد سمير حسن

    2011-12-7

    O God! Support Islam and the Muslims. The people fear Sharia, but I cannot imagine how anyone can fear sharia!!!

  • احمد يوسف

    2011-12-7

    Cairo and Suhaj

  • ehabebrahem81

    2011-12-7

    I ask you by God to choose the best for this country, and please consider the foreign threat that faces Egypt. Dear Muslim and Christian brothers, be united to support Egypt.

  • إبراهيم أحمد

    2011-12-7

    The Muslim who does not want to apply sharia will not be a true Muslim. Why would anyone fear the rule of Islam and the Muslims? Isn’t he a Muslim? Does he fear the West? Is it not true that the Prophet, peace be upon him, and then his caliphs ruled according to Islam, to the extent that during the caliphate of Umar ibn Abd Al-Aziz, the money was abundant? He was an ascetic caliph who feared God and his messenger when dealing with the people, even the non-Muslims, who lived happily under the security and stability of Islam.

  • مسلمة

    2011-12-7

    I wish we would improve the current situation in Egypt and we all went to vote for our great country Egypt, the mother of the world. It is hard for us to see it like this. I supplicate to you sincerely and I wish that Egypt would always lift its head in pride.

  • على يوسف

    2011-12-7

    Please, update the content of the website.

  • كاكاكاكاكاكاكك

    2011-12-7

    OK

  • احمدحسين

    2011-12-6

    Islam is the solution.

  • براء حجاج

    2011-12-6

    O God! Raise the flags of the truth and the religion everywhere. We ask God to guide the Muslim Brotherhood to raise the banner of Islam and declare the Islamic caliphate on the land of God. Amen.

  • اشرف نمير

    2011-12-5

    Good luck, God willing.

  • [email protected]

    2011-12-5

    Wonderful coverage, and I wish victory to the Islamists‎ and Egypt above all.

  • عبدالواحد كريم

    2011-12-5

    The problem lies in the political Islam, which is created to be worshiped. The starting point should be writing a secular civil constitution, away from religion. Democracy, or “the rule of the people,” is not achieved by delusions. We need to place religion on the table and discuss it openly. Does it really satisfy the hopes of the revolutionists who overthrew Mubarak? Is religion suitable to rule? I think it is not suitable. Yet, if the Islamic voices win, which is most likely, then the most applicable scenario is that the parliament will draft a constitution based on religion.

  • ماهر الزبيري

    2011-12-4

    I love the Arabs.

  • محمد صبرى السمرى

    2011-12-4

    The Islamists‎ will get the majority of the votes during the second and third phases, in spite of the unsuccessful and hostile media campaigns against them.

  • بوسي

    2011-12-4

    If the Muslim Brotherhood assumed power, the country would be destroyed and we would leave it for them to turn it into ruins.