Islamists look to boost edge in Egypt’s voting
CAIRO EGYPTIANS turned out in large numbers on Wednesday for a second round of parliamentary elections, with Islamists looking to boost their already overwhelming lead and liberal voters concerned the outcome will push the country in a more religious direction.
Two Islamist blocs won close to 70 percent of seats in the first round on November 28-29, according to an AP tally compiled from official results. The secular and liberal forces that largely drove Egypt’s uprising were trounced, failing to turn their achievement into a victory at the polls.
The final two rounds of voting are not expected to dramatically alter the result and could strengthen the Islamists’ hand.
“We have to try Islamic rule to be able to decide if it’s good for us,” said 60-year-old voter Hussein Khattab, an accountant, waiting to vote at a polling station near the famous pyramids in Giza province on the western outskirts of Cairo. “If not, we can go back to Tahrir,” he said, referring to the Cairo square that was the focus of the uprising in January and February that ousted longtime President Hosni Mubarak.
He said he planned to vote for the Muslim Brotherhood, the country’s most organized and well-known party. the big winner in the first round with about 47 percent of contested seats.