Egypt’s Islamists Win 75 Percent of Seats in Parliament

Islamist parties are now competing with Egypt's military for full rule, as the secular liberals get marginalized

Egypt’s Islamist political parties secured nearly three-quarters of the seats in parliament in the country’s first full set of elections since ousting former dictator Hosni Mubarak, according to final results released Saturday.

A coalition led by the Muslim Brotherhood won 47 percent, or 235 seats in the 498-seat parliament. The ultraconservative Al-Nour Party was second with 25 percent, or 125 seats. The liberals who instigated the protest movement that ousted Mubarak failed to organize and connect with Egyptian voters.

The Islamist victories in parliament portend a restrictive and religious-based government which will have to compete with the current military rulers, the Supreme Council of Armed Services (SCAF), who have hinted at maintaining their grip on power despite the elections.

Egypt’s pro-democracy activists have been calling on SCAF to step down, accusing them of impeding the transition to civilian rule. SCAF is accused of killing at least 80 protesters since October, of torturing detainees and of detaining at least 12,000 civilians to be tried before military tribunals.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party is now pushing for a law that would grant immunity to SCAF generals for crimes they have committed since taking power in February, a decision that was announced one day after the Brotherhood met with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, which some saw as a sign that the U.S. has extended its suppression of Egyptian democracy almost a year past the ouster of their long-time ally Hosni Mubarak.

U.S. money continues to flow to Egypt’s ruling military council and weapons – including riot gear for security forces – have continuously been shipped from American to the Egyptian authorities.

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Author: John Glaser

John Glaser writes for Antiwar.com.