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Islamists Claim Majority in Egypt Elections

RIA Novosti

14:02 31/01/2012 CAIRO, January 31 (RIA Novosti) - The Islamist Freedom and Justice Party stands to win up to 60 percent of the seats in the Egyptian parliament’s upper house, according to preliminary election results quoted by the party in a statement issued on Tuesday.

The first round of elections to the Shura (Consultative) Council, which involved 13 out of 27 Egyptian governorates, was held on Sunday and Monday. The second round is due to be held on February 14 and 15.

The official results of the first round of polls are due to be announced on Wednesday.

In line with Egyptian laws, two thirds of the 270-strong Shura Council are elected in nationwide polls; another 90 lawmakers are appointed by the head of state.

Unlike in recent elections to the lower house of parliament, where voter turnover exceeded 60 percent, only 10 to 25 percent of the 25.5 million eligible voters cast their ballots in the first round of the Shura Council polls.

The Council is expected to hold its first session on February 28.

On January 23, Egypt's newly-elected lower house of parliament, the People’s Assembly, held its first meeting since a popular uprising ousted President Hosni Mubarak a year ago. The assembly is also dominated by Islamists from the Muslim Brotherhood and other religious groups.

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