Muslim Brotherhood leads Egypt vote count
By Tousif Khan - Wed Nov 30, 3:46 pm
CAIRO: The Muslim Brotherhood claimed to have a lead on Wednesday in the early vote count in Egypt’s first free election since army officers ousted the king in 1952.
No official results in the parliamentary vote were out and one rival party said they doubted the Brotherhood’s claim, but others provided estimates that appeared to back it.
The results, if confirmed and repeated when the rest of the country votes in successive rounds of the staggered six-week election process, would give Egypt’s oldest Islamist group a powerful bloc in the assembly.
It could end up positioned for a power struggle with the generals who took over when Hosni Mubarak was ousted in a popular revolt in February.
Progress toward democracy in the most populous Arab nation will help shape a region convulsed by popular uprisings against autocrats who, like Mubarak, often enjoyed Western support in part for their role in fighting Islamist militancy.
Islamist parties in Morocco and Tunisia have come out on top in parliamentary elections in the past two months, although in both those countries they campaigned as moderates.
Egypt’s complex electoral system and staggered voting means it may be difficult to predict the precise breakdown of parliament until the end of staggered voting on Jan. 11.