Last Updated: Thu Dec 01, 2011 18:10 pm (KSA) 15:10 pm (GMT)

Islamists to win parliament majority, confrontation with army probable: experts

‘A chaotic political scene’ is expected if Islamists emerge as winners of the first stage of Egypt’s post-revolution parliamentary elections. (Reuters)
‘A chaotic political scene’ is expected if Islamists emerge as winners of the first stage of Egypt’s post-revolution parliamentary elections. (Reuters)

The preliminary results of the first stage of Egypt’s first post-revolution parliamentary elections were in line with expectations, especially as far as the winning of Islamists is concerned, said Egyptian analysts.

“There is not much discrepancy between what we expected and what we have now,” Egyptian journalist Gamal Fahmi told Al Arabiya’s Panorama on Wednesday.

Fahmi explained that parties that play on religious sensitivities were expected to get the majority of votes, but the real surprise was the achievements of new parties that did not have enough time to acquaint people with their programs.

That, he said, was clear in the votes the Egyptian Bloc, a liberal alliance of three parties, won.

“This will result in a parliament which will include a variety of political powers and this portends a great deal of chaos.”

Fahmi pointed out that the parties that took place in the elections were neither mature nor the product of a real democratic process.

“All of them came of out of a totally chaotic political scene.”

For this reason, he added, the new parliament will not be satisfactory for the revolutionary youths of Egypt.

Ammar Ali Hassan, a researcher in political sociology, said it was wrong to refer to Islamists as one single entity when talking about the results of the elections. The same applies to the liberal parties.

“That is why the parliament will have a bit of everything. In fact, people will be categorized in two different camps: supporters of the revolution and supporters of the military council,” he told Panorama.

Hassan said that unlike what many people think, there are similarities between an Islamist party like the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party and a liberal party like the Free Egyptians.

“Both of them have capitalist ideologies and this is basically against the revolution’s main demand for social justice.”

Hassan added that Islamists have a huge responsibility ahead of them, for they have to make sure those who killed peaceful protestors are brought to justice.

“In this case, they will have two options. They can either enter a confrontation with the military council to prosecute the killers, which will be a great risk for their hold on power, or they can strike some deal with the council at the expense of the revolution.”

According to political analyst Ashraf al-Ashri, the results of the first stage of the elections make it much easier to predict those of the coming two stages and to expect more votes to go to Islamist factions.

“Islamists are more skilled in mobilizing people, but they will have to forge alliances with other liberal forces,” he told Al Arabiya.

Fathi Mahmoud, deputy editor-in-chief of the official newspaper al-Ahram, argued that the upcoming parliament is not going to form the government anyway.

“The new interim government will stay in power until after the presidential elections and the drafting of the new constitution.”

The deputy chairman of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, Essam al-Erian, called in statements that followed the first day of voting for granting more powers to the new parliament and giving it the right to form a government.

On the other hand, the legal advisor of the Higher Council for the Armed Forces, General Mamdouh Saheen, said the new parliament will not have the right to form a new government or cast a no-confidence vote against the already-existing one.

(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid)

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