Egyptians queued in millions on Monday and Tuesday to vote in Egypt’s first elections since Hosni Mubarak was overthrown in February.
In a press conference held by the High elections committee, election officials announced the first results of the parliamentary poll, which takes place in three stages. They said an unprecedented 62 % of eligible voters did cast their ballots in the first phase. Most of the 1/3 of seats reserved for individuals are to be settled in a runoff next week but the Muslim Brotherhood have secured 40% of votes placed, followed by 20% for the Conservative al-Nour Party, which was rivalling the liberal multi-party Egyptian Bloc for second place.
Ahmed Abdel Rahman, a newly elected Member of Parliament representing the Freedom and Justice Party, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, says the gains made by their party were expected but that the party is committed to working with all other political parties in drafting the constitution and implementing reforms.
The main secular power that competed in the elections is the Egyptian Bloc, made up of three parties representing left and right of the political spectrum. The bloc hopes to secure more seats in the run-off and the two remaining stages of the elections.
Khalid Reda is an engineer, he says at the end of the day Egyptians want to see real changes in their daily lives.
The next two stages of the elections will go on into January, but the common notion on the street is if newly appointed Members of Parliament fail to address core issues such as the economy and unemployment, they will face the same fate of Mubark’s Ruling National Democratic party.
Despite there remaining 2 phases of the elections and a run-off still to be held , the first stage did give an indication of substantial gains the Muslim Brotherhood are expected to make in these elections; but whether they will be able to implement the reforms that Egyptians demanded in their revolution remains to be seen.