Two Islamist parties win big in Egypt election

Story highlights

  • The Muslim Brotherhood won nearly half of the seats
  • The conservative Al Nour party comes in second
  • Presidential elections are set for June
Two Islamist parties won about 70% of the seats in the Egyptian election for the lower house of parliament, according to electoral commission figures released Saturday.
The Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party won 235 seats and the conservative Al Nour party gained 121 seats in the People's Assembly, according to final results.
The assembly consists of 498 elected members. Ten others are chosen by the country's military rulers, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.
It is the country's first elected body since the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak last year.
The body will convene on Monday, two days before the January 25 anniversary of the uprising that toppled Mubarak's rule. The members are expected to vote for the speaker of the house and his two deputies.
Earlier this week, Egypt's top political parties agreed to nominate a member of the Muslim Brotherhood for speaker, the first time in decades that an Islamist would hold that post.
He is Mohamed Katatni, an FJP politician.
"The top priorities of the next parliament are social justice, retribution for martyrs, fulfilling goals and demands of the revolution and the advancement of Egypt," Katatni said in a statement.
The council has appointed its 10 representatives to the assembly. They include five people of the Coptic Christian faith, a minority group that has faced attacks and is fearful of Islamism.
Elections for the upper house of parliament, the Shura Council, will be completed next month.
The full parliament must appoint a 100-member panel to write a new Egyptian constitution. Presidential elections are set for June.
The assembly convenes a year after popular revolts erupted, eventually leading to Mubarak's downfall. The longtime dictator is on trial on charges of corruption and ordering the deaths of hundreds of protesters.
The military rulers have led Egypt's government since Mubarak's fall. It has said it will hand over power to a new government once one is in place.
But the transition has not been quick or transparent enough for some Egyptians. A series of protests in Cairo last month resulted in violent and sometimes deadly clashes between demonstrators and soldiers.