Middle East News
LEAD: Muslim Brotherhood alliance sweeps Egypt election
Jan 21, 2012, 18:14 GMT
Cairo - An alliance led by the influential Muslim Brotherhood won 47 per cent of the seats in Egypt's new parliament, officials and the alliance said Saturday.
The Democratic Alliance, led by the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, won 235 of 498 seats that were up for grabs in the three-stage election.
In second place was Al-Nour, a hardline Islamist party that secured more than 23 per cent of the vote, according to local media.
The liberal parties, Al-Wafd and the Egyptian Bloc, trailed with around 14 per cent of the vote.
Twenty-one political parties failed to secure the 0.5 per cent of the vote necessary to be represented in parliament, said Abdel Moez Ibrahim, the head of an independent election commission.
Loyalists to former president Hosny Mubarak won 3 per cent of the parliamentary seats, the final results showed, dispelling fears about their potential influence in the new parliament.
The elections, which began on November 28 and ran for almost two months, were Egypt's first since Mubarak's overthrow in a popular revolt last year.
Egypt's de facto ruler Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi on Saturday appointed 10 new members to bring the total number of lawmakers in the new parliament to 508, state television reported.
The parliament is scheduled to hold its first session on Monday.
The Muslim Brotherhood has nominated Mohammed Saad al-Katatni, a senior official in its party, to be the speaker of the new parliament.
The parliament's prime job will be to pick a committee tasked with drafting a new constitution for Egypt.
Elections for the less powerful Shura Council, or upper house of parliament, are to be held in two stages, with voting taking place between January 29 and February 22.