The Muslim Brotherhood claimed the first round in the Egyptian parliamentary elections Saturday, after polls said it has won 40% of the votes. The official results of the elections are still pending.
The elections – Egypt's first free vote in six decades – have seen a record turnout. According to Egyptian media, the Muslim Brotherhood has so far won 40% of the votes, the radical Salafi al-Nour party has won 20% of the votes, the liberal bloc has 15% of the votes, and the rest of the votes were split between the smaller Left-wing parties.
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Cairo's ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces was reportedly "vexed and concerned" by the apparent Islamist victory.
The London-based Arabic-language newspaper al-Hayat reported Saturday that Egypt's Military Council was very displeased with polls suggesting that the radical Islamist parties have the majority vote in the first round, and was concerned of a similar achievement in the second and third rounds of the elections.
'Rivals should accept the results'
The final results are still pending, but Egyptian and Arab media predict that the Islamist bloc has noted a significant electoral achievements in the direct preliminary elections as well, giving it control of another third of the House.
Should the polls be accurate, the numbers represent a landslide victory for the radical parties in Egypt, and a crushing blow for the moderate Left in Cairo.
In a statement issued on Saturday afternoon, the Muslim Brotherhood called on its rivals to "accept the will of the people": "We call upon everyone, and all those who associate themselves with democracy, to respect the will of the people and accept their choice. Those who weren't successful ... should work hard to serve people to win their support next time," the Brotherhood added.
The Brotherhood also thanked their supporters: "We thank… the Egyptian people for the civilized way they lined up for hours to cast their votes and choose their parliamentary representatives. "Today, we thank you again for your trust, and let you know we feel how heavy our responsibility is. God willing, we will be up to it and be able to serve our people and country."
The radical parties' possible victory will "make it hard for the military to wage a 'civil campaign' against the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafi al-Nour after the elections, when it comes to the constitution.
"The reason for the Islamists' in the first round is the weakness among the liberals. They are too divided and they were too busy fighting the Military Council to understand that it isn’t the real problem," the newspaper ventured.
Deputy Hamas Politburo Chief, Dr. Mousa Abu Marzouk was confident Saturday that the success of the Islamist parties in Egypt's elections would benefit the Palestinian issue.
"I believe that the Egyptian people will place their faith in their chosen delegates and that the Egyptian people would continue to stand by the Palestinian people as they have throughout history," he said.
Reuters and Elior Levy contributed to this report
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