Islamists Boost Foothold in Egyptian Parliament
Islamists have bolstered their foothold in Egypt's parliament, while President Hosni Mubarak's party has won at least half of the seats contested so far in legislative elections, judicial sources said Sunday.
With 263 of the National Assembly's 444 seats decided, 15 members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood and one other Islamist have secured places in parliament after running as independents.
The results, expected to be confirmed by the interior ministry, followed a second-round runoff on Saturday in which police clashed with Islamist supporters, leaving four people dead and dozens injured in the Nile Delta.
There was only one Islamist in the last assembly and no members of the Muslim Brotherhood, which says it seeks to create an Islamic state through peaceful means.
According to official results, Mubarak's National Democratic Party (NDP) won at least 38 of the 115 seats contested in the second round, and a total of at least 156 of the 263 decided since voting began October 18.
A third and final round will be staged over the next week.
Mubarak also fills 10 seats by appointment, in addition to the 444 seats decided by elections.
Nine of the 72 independent candidates who won seats in the second round are members of the Muslim Brotherhood, but it was not immediately clear how many of the remaining independents would join ranks with the NDP.
In the first round, most of the independents joined the NDP shortly after the results were announced.
Saturday's runoff for the second round was marked by violence near balloting centers in the Nile Delta, with three people reported shot to death and one other reported to have died of a heart attack.
Dozens of others were injured when police opened fire on Islamist supporters -- CAIRO (AFP)
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