Sunday, December 04, 2011

Islamists end up with 65% of Egypt vote

From Al Arabiya:
Islamist parties have won 65 percent of votes for party list seats in the first round of parliamentary elections, according to official figures obtained by AFP on Sunday.

The Muslim Brotherhood won 36.62 percent of the vote, followed by the hard-line Salafist al-Nur party with 24.36 and the moderate Al-Wasat with 4.27, according to a chart provided by elections committee secretary general Yusri Abdel Karim.

Abdel Karim said that the committee would not provide percentages until the end of voting on January 10, but according to an official chart he provided the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party list won 3.56 million out of 9.73 million valid ballots.

The al-Nur party won 2.37 million, and the Wasat party 415,590 votes.

The liberal coalition the Egyptian Bloc received 13.35 percent, with 1.29 million votes.

The percentages cannot be calculated into the number of seats each party list will receive until the final results for the whole country are in.

This is close to what Al Masry al Youm reported last night:

This doesn't mean that Islamists will get 65% of the seats in Parliament - they very possibly will get more.
Egyptians return to the polls on Monday for 52 run-off votes for individual candidates, who will occupy a third of the 498 elected seats in the lower house once two more rounds of the complicated voting process end in January. Two-thirds of the seats are allocated proportionately to party lists.

From what I can tell in the Egyptian press, the run-offs are between the two highest vote-getters in different districts - and in practically all cases, that means they are between the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafi Nour party. Which means, from a back of the envelope calculation, the Islamists will end up with about 370 seats, or 74%.

Moreover, if I am understanding things correctly, there is a real possibility that the Muslim Brotherhood alone can end up with an absolute majority of seats in the parliament after the run-offs. If they end up with 120 seats of the 334 that are allocated proportionately, they would need to get 80% of the wins in the run-off elections - something that is certainly conceivable given that they are more moderate than their likely opponents in most of those elections. Liberals and Wasat voters may vote for the MB party in those elections rather than the Nour Salafis, if given a choice.

Either way, Egypt will become an Islamist state.

Will it be extreme, or ultra extreme?

Can it cope with the economic meltdown that Egypt is now facing?

Can we expect to see a mass exodus of Copts?

Will Egypt ally closer with Iran?

Will there ever be another election?