Al-Hayat newspaper: Islamist win in Egypt's first round of elections “worries” SCAF

Ahram Online, Nada Hussein Rashwan, Saturday 3 Dec 2011

Sources tell Al-Hayat newspaper that the big win of Islamists in the first round of Egyptian legislative elections has caused “worry and discomfort” inside the ruling military council

Egypt elections
A woman walks near an election poster of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood "The Freedom and Justice Party'" in the old city of Cairo (Photo: Reuters)

“Even though the military has accepted the election results as a reflection of the voters’ will, an air of anxiety is present inside the military institution, especially that Islamists seem to have a bigger chance at winning in the second and third phases and in the run-off rounds,” a source has told Al-Hayat newspaper following this week's legislative elections in Egypt.

The source explains that the reasons why Islamist parties received a high proportion of votes in the elections are “the divisions among liberal parties, as well as their having been too busy confronting the military council,” instead of preparing for elections more thoroughly to be able to compete against Islamist parties.

The source underlined that regardless of the final election results, the military “will not give up two things: the position of the military in the new constitution, and [the preservation of] a civil state in Egypt”, adding that the military is not in a struggle with any particular political force, and that the military council will “deal with the final results as they are”.

The announcement of the results of the first phase in parliamentary elections in Egypt revealed that the Democratic Alliance, led by the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, won around 40 per cent of the votes in the electoral lists contest, while the list of Salafist El-Nour Party won about 20 per cent of votes.

Also, most of the independent seats in first phase electoral districts went to Islamist candidates, where some others are yet to be decided in run-off voting on 5 December. Islamists are expected to keep up their winning streak during the second and third election stages.

The main liberal alliance, the Egyptian Bloc, suspended its electoral campaign in protest over the deadly five-day clashes that took place between the police and protesters in Mohamed Mahmoud Street, off Tahrir Square, starting 19 November when police forces and military police attempted to forcefully disperse a number of protesters in the square.

Islamist parties, on the other hand, refused to participate in the demonstrations, alleging it was a plot aimed at sabotaging the elections. They continued their electoral campaigns during the week of clashes.

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