Egypt's Islamist parties win elections to parliament

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Egyptian election staff members count votes in a polling station during parliamentary run-off elections at Shubra in El-Kalubia, on the outskirts of Cairo, January 11, 2012
Image caption,
Egypt's parliamentary elections have been spread over a six-week period

The final results in Egypt's first post-Mubarak parliamentary elections confirm an overwhelming victory for Islamist parties.

The Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) won the largest number of seats under Egypt's complex electoral system.

The hardline Salafist Nour party came second.

The liberal New Wafd and the secular Egyptian Bloc coalition are some way behind them.

Egyptians voted in three phases over a six-week period to elect the 498 members of the People's Assembly. Ten further members are appointed by the ruling military.

Under the country's system, two-thirds of the seats are allocated to party list candidates, and the remaining third are voted for directly.

The overall results mean that Islamist parties control around two-thirds of the seats in the assembly, though the final share out of seats is not yet known.

The FJP topped the polls in the votes for party list seats. Having also done well in the constituency votes it will end up with between a third and a half of all MPs.

The ultra-conservative Nour party is thought to have won nearly a quarter of the seats overall.

The new assembly is due to sit for the first time on Monday.

The FJP has announced that it will nominate Saad al-Katatni as the assembly's speaker. Mr Katatni is a long-term Brotherhood official and sat in the old parliament as an independent.

He told Reuters that the new assembly would be "reconciliatory".

"The priorities are meeting the demands of the revolution, including the rights of the injured and those killed in the uprising," he said.

Former President Hosni Mubarak was forced to resign last year after a popular uprising.

A new president is due to be elected by June under the timetable set by Egypt's military rulers.

The BBC's Jon Leyne in Cairo says that while the Muslim Brotherhood appear to be finally on the brink of power it is still the president who chooses the government - so the winners of this election do not automatically take office.

The Brotherhood - which led the opposition to Mr Mubarak during his 30 years in power - was until this year officially banned. In practice, it was tolerated as long as it remained at the margins of politics.