(21 Jan 2012)
In The Guardian, Jasmine Coleman writes that the “final results in Egypt’s first parliamentary elections since the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak have confirmed an overwhelming victory for Islamist parties. The Muslim Brotherhood, which was banned under Mubarak’s regime, won the biggest share of parliamentary seats (38%), according to the High Elections Committee. Its Freedom and Justice party (FJP) has named Saad al-Katatni, a leading Brotherhood official who sat in the old parliament as an independent, as speaker of the assembly. The hardline Islamist Al-Nour party came second with 29% of the seats. The liberal New Wafd and Egyptian Bloc coalition came third and fourth respectively. The result means that Islamists will wield major influence over a new constitution, which is set to be drafted by a the country’s first freely elected parliament. The Revolution Continues coalition, dominated by youth groups at the forefront of the protests that toppled Mubarak, attracted less than a million votes and took just seven seats. Egyptians voted in three phases over six weeks to elect the 498 members of the People’s Assembly. Ten further members are appointed by the ruling military council”.
A whopping 67% thus went to Islamist representative . . . What the reality on the ground will now consist of in post-revolutionary Egypt could be anyone’s guess. Mubarak had also been an expert at utilizing Islam and a Muslim rhetoric to appease the population . . . As a result, Egypt will probably not undergo drastic changes overnight, but in the long run, future elections and their outcomes will prove crucial in determining the role of Islam in day-to-day life in Egypt.