Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood extends win as PM granted presidential powers
Egypt's leading Islamic party said Wednesday it had extended its gains in the recent elections. The Muslim Brotherhood said its Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) had won 36 out of 54 individual seats up for grabs in the first phase of the multi-stage parliamentary polls.
In a separate party vote, which will see more than a 100 seats distributed, it won 36.6 percent while the Salafi fundamentalist party Al-Nur came second with 24.4 percent.
The FJP's expected landslide victory in the individual seats. Al-Nur won five seats in the run off, party spokesman Mohammed Nour told AFP. Only one third of districts have voted so far, however, with the remainder set to head to the polls in a further two waves starting on December 14 and in January.
Meanwhile, an Egyptian source said on Wednesday that the ruling military council issued a decree granting the newly appointed prime minister presidential powers in all fields except defense and judiciary. In theory, this amendment is the first application of the parliamentary system before a new constitution is approved by the parliament.
It is worth mentioning that there is a debate going on in the Egyptian arena as to whether the new constitution will keep the presidential system in force in Egypt since 1952 or will go to a mixed presidential - parliamentary or parliamentary system. It is expected that the new Egyptian government headed by Dr. Kamal al-Ganzouri will be sworn in on Wednesday by Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.
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