CAIRO — Islamist parties, as expected, secured Saturday a majority of seats in the lower house of Egypt’s first post-revolution parliament, setting the stage for intensive political dealmaking before the legislature meets at the end of the month.
According to party projections, Islamists won about 62 percent of the popular vote in the final round of the multiphased elections, although the final result will not be known until after runoffs for individual seats are held this week.
The Freedom and Justice Party, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, is now clearly the most powerful political force in the first elected body since Hosni Mubarak’s ouster in February, with no one party winning an outright majority.
Freedom and Justice said in a statement on its Web site that it appears to have won 41 percent of the seats in the lower house, followed by 21 percent for the ultraconservative Salafist Nour Party. Whatever alliance the relatively moderate Islamist party cobbles together is likely to control both the legislature’s agenda and the makeup of a body that will write the country’s constitution, analysts say.
The lower house, known as the People’s Assembly, is the most important body in Egypt’s bicameral system. It includes 498 seats chosen by voters and an additional 10 to be chosen by the country’s interim military rulers in their capacity as Egypt’s de facto presidential authority.