Egypt Islamists aim to build on poll success | world | Hindustan Times
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Egypt Islamists aim to build on poll success

Islamists who swept to victory in the first stage of Egypt’s parliamentary elections were looking to consolidate their winning streak in a second round of voting Wednesday.

world Updated: Dec 15, 2011 01:40 IST
Jailan Zayan

Islamists who swept to victory in the first stage of Egypt’s parliamentary elections were looking to consolidate their winning streak in a second round of voting Wednesday.

Some 18.8 million Egyptians are eligible to cast their ballots in this round of the first legislative polls since a popular uprising ended Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year-rule in February.

The election’s first stage on November 28 saw Islamist parties crush their liberal rivals, mirroring a pattern established in Tunisia and Morocco following a string of popular uprisings across the region.

Parties affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood and the ultra-conservative Salafi movements won 65% of all votes, trouncing liberal parties who managed 29.3%.

The second round will take place in Cairo’s twin city of Giza; Beni Sueif south of the capital; the Nile Delta provinces of Menufiya, Sharqiya and Beheira; the canal cities of Ismailiya and Suez and the southern cities Sohag and Aswan.

The Muslim Brotherhood had been widely forecast to triumph as the country’s most organised political group, well known after decades of charitable work and its endurance through repeated crackdowns by the Mubarak regime. But the good showing from Salafist groups was a surprise, raising fears of a more conservative and overtly religious 498-member new parliament. afp