Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
SUNDAY, 20 APR 2014
01:57 AM Beirut time
Weather    
Beirut
22 °C
Blom Index
BLOM
1,214.01down
Middle East
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
Egypt commission delays election results
Associated Press
T-shirts for sale are displayed in Tahrir Square, Cairo, egypt, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011. Judges overseeing the vote count in egypt's first parliamentary elections since Hosni Mubarak's ouster say near-final results show Islamist parities taking a majority of seats contested in the first round. The Arabic writing on T-shirts read, "Jan. 25, Revolution, freedom." (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
T-shirts for sale are displayed in Tahrir Square, Cairo, egypt, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011. Judges overseeing the vote count in egypt's first parliamentary elections since Hosni Mubarak's ouster say near-final results show Islamist parities taking a majority of seats contested in the first round. The Arabic writing on T-shirts read, "Jan. 25, Revolution, freedom." (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
A+ A-

CAIRO: Following an unexpectedly large turnout, Egypt’s election commission announced Thursday a delay in the release of final results for the first round of parliamentary elections while judges monitoring the count said Islamist parties are poised to gain a parliamentary majority.

The political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s largest and best organized group, could take as much as 45 percent of the seats being contested. The Egyptian bloc coalition of liberal parties and the ultra-fundamentalist Nour party were competing for second place, the judges said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the count remains incomplete.

Together, Islamist parties would have a majority, which could allow them to steer the long-secular U.S. ally in a more religiously conservative direction. Egypt would follow Tunisia and Morocco, where Islamist parties have won majorities in parliament since the outbreak of this year’s Arab Spring uprisings. Islamist parties present themselves as better able to rule justly than the region’s long-serving dictators, who often rule with Western support.

This week’s balloting, which covered nine of Egypt’s 27 provinces, was the first of six stages of elections that will be held through March to choose the first parliament following Mubarak’s ouster in a popular uprising in February.

The extent of the power of the new legislature remains uncertain.

The Supreme Council of the Armed forces, a group of 20 generals that took control of the country when Mubarak fell, has made moves to preserve its vast legislative and executive power.

But the Muslim Brotherhood will likely challenge the military on the issue, and high voter turnout in the elections could give it a stronger popular mandate to push for civilian rule.

Muslim Brotherhood leaders have already said they will lead a coalition government after the vote that will choose its own prime minister.The military has other plans. Last week, military leader Hussein Tantawi hand-picked a Mubarak-era prime minister to head the next government. Kamal al-Ganzouri, who served under Mubarak between 1996-99, has yet to form a government and it is difficult to imagine that he will only serve in that position for three months.

State media reported that Ganzouri was meeting Thursday with candidates to hold ministerial positions in the new government, which he is expected to announce Saturday.

Ganzouri also said the military council is the only body able to appoint a new government – a comment likely to further enflame accusations that his government is a mere front for continued military rule.

A collision between the military and the Brotherhood over the next stage of the transition would add yet another layer of turmoil in this nation of 85 million after nearly 10 months of disputes and rivalries, culminating in recent clashes between security forces and protesters demanding the military step down immediately.

The military did not field candidates in the parliamentary vote. But winning bragging rights for a smooth, successful and virtually fraud-free election would significantly boost the ruling generals in their bitter struggle with youthful protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square demanding a transfer to civilian authority.

The duration of the next parliament’s term is also in question. If the military’s timetable for a transfer of power holds true, then the next parliament may not sit for more than a few months. Parliament will hold its inaugural session in March, meaning that a new constitution must be drafted and adopted in a referendum before presidential elections now slated for before the end of June.

Friday, the head of Egypt’s election commission said the announcement of final results for the first round will be delayed until Friday.The commission previously said results from the two-day balloting would be announced late Thursday. But the state MENA news agency quoted commission head Abdel-Mooaez Ibrahim as saying a large voter turnout has slowed down the counting process.

Official figures have not been released, but Maj. Gen. Ismail Etman, a member of the ruling military council, has estimated the turnout among about 50 million eligible voters was 70 percent.

Monday and Tuesday’s voting will determine about 30 percent of the 498 seats of the People’s Assembly, parliament’s lower house. The subsequent two rounds, ending in January, will cover other provinces in turn. Then the process repeats until March to elect the less powerful upper house.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on December 02, 2011, on page 1.
Home Middle East
 
     
 
Egyptian elections / Egypt
Advertisement
Comments  

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement


Baabda 2014
Advertisement
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Multimedia
Images  
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Saturday April 19, 2014
View all view all
Advertisement
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Why Israeli-Palestinian talks fail
Michael Young
Michael Young
Why confuse gibberish with knowledge?
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
Echoes of 1914 characterize the Ukraine crisis
View all view all
Advertisement
cartoon
 
Click to View Articles
 
 
News
Business
Opinion
Sports
Culture
Technology
Entertainment
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS