The PJ Tatler

Islamists Take Two-Thirds of the Vote in Egypt's Second Round of Elections

Egypt’s regression moves ahead.

The party list led by the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) won 36.3 percent of the list vote, while the ultra-conservative Salafi al-Nour Party took 28.8 percent, pushing the liberal Wafd party into third place.

The vote, staged over six weeks, is the first free election Egypt has held after the 30-year rule of President Hosni Mubarak, who routinely rigged polls before he was overthrown by a popular uprising in February.

The West long looked to Mubarak and other strongmen in the region to help combat Islamist militants, and has watched warily as Islamist parties have topped votes in Tunisia, Morocco and now Egypt.

Parliament’s prime job will be appointing a 100-strong assembly to write a new constitution which will define the president’s powers and parliament’s clout in the new Egypt.

Second-round results for party lists gave the liberal Wafd Party 9.6 percent of the vote. The Egyptian Bloc of mostly liberal and leftist parties won 7 percent of the list vote.

Analysts say poor coordination among non-Islamist groups has divided the liberal vote, sometimes handing the majority to an Islamist by default.

Have the “analysts” realized yet that no matter what the liberal parties did, Egypt’s voters have gone two-thirds in favor of the non-liberals? That reads less like an organization or coordination problem, than an electorate problem.