FJP vice-president Essam El Arian, (Photo: Reuters)
Islamist Member of Parliament (MP) Essam El-Erian replaces Egypt's former deputy foreign minister, Mustafa El-Feki, as a deputy of the Arab Parliament, part of the Arab League.
El-Erian, who is vice president of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, won one of two deputy seats with 48 votes out of 63. The other seat went to Algerian member of the National Liberation Front, Madani Al-Baradei, who secured 46 votes replacing the Sultanate of Oman representative Maser Al-Maouly.
El-Feki is considered an ally of Egypt's toppled leader Hosni Mubarak. El-Feki was a prominent member of the ousted president's now defunct National Democratic Party, served in the Egyptian parliament under Mubarak and spent years as a diplomatic advisor to the former presidency.
El-Erian, on the other hand, is considered one of the most prominent Islamists in the Egyptian political area. He was a member of the Brotherhood's elite Guidance Bureau and currently chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee in the People's Assembly.
Four nominees have been competing for the two posts: Al-Erian, Al-Baradei, Iraqi Mohsen Saadoun who received 20 votes and the Jordanian Awad Zowaida who gained nine.
The decision was announced in the opening session of the first round of this year's Arab Parliament, which started Wednesday.
There are four deputy positions under the president of the Arab parliament. Dr. Aisa Al-Mana'i from Qatar and Seoud Shamari from Saudi Arabia hold the other posts.
The Arab parliament is an advisory committee for the Arab League composed of representatives from all the League member states.