Partial results for Egypt’s first round of parliamentary elections reveal Islamist parties leading with 65 percent of the party list votes, a stronger-than-expected showing that puts liberal groups on the defensive.
The figures released Sunday by Egypt’s High Election Commission put the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice party in front with 36.6 percent of the ballots cast, followed by the hardline Salafist Nour party with 24.4 percent. The moderate Islamist Wasat party took 4.3 percent. The liberal Egyptian Bloc garnered 13.4 percent, putting that coalition of parties in third place.
This past week’s voting will determine the membership for about 30 percent of the 498-seat lower house. Egyptians will return to the polls Monday for 52 runoff votes for individual candidates.
Election commissioner Abdel-Mooaez Ibrahim says a record voter turnout took place in the first round vote covering nine provinces. Voters in the remaining 18 provinces will cast ballots in two stages that will take place in the coming weeks.