Egyptians cast votes in final round of elections

In North Sinai, Egypt, residents cast their final vote for the run-offs in the third and conclusive round of the nation’s parliamentary elections on Wednesday.

Regardless of the outcome of the run-offs and re-runs, the prevalence of Islamists means they have a strong influence in shaping the new constitution, which will be drawn up by a 100-member body chosen by the new assembly.

Two candidates from the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party are up against two independent candidates from Be’r Alabd in the Sinai area, which contains an estimated 9,000 voters.

The Brotherhood anticipates it will win 41 percent of the votes, while Islamist parties are predicted to win 60 percent of the 498 seats in the assembly’s lower house.

The success Islamists have been experiencing has worried liberal Egyptians and Western governments that supported former president Hosni Mubarak, but it is still too soon to deduce if Islamists will form a coalition in the new assembly.

The three-stage parliamentary elections began on November 28 and experienced an unprecedented number of voters. The lower house is scheduled to hold its first session on January 23.

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