Islamist party wins majority seats in upper house of Egypt’s parliament

The Islamist Freedom and Justice party scored an outright majority in an election for Egypt’s upper house of parliament. (File)

The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice scored an outright majority in an election for Egypt’s upper house of parliament after having emerged as the top party in an earlier lower house vote.

The party came first in the winner’s list with 106 seats in the180-seat council. The Salafist al-Nour Party came second with 46 seats and al-Wafd party third with 14 seats, Abdel-Moez Ibrahim, Head of High Elections Commission, announced that

The parliamentary votes, which began in late November, are the first since a popular uprising toppled President Hosni Mubarak a year ago.

The earlier lower house election saw an unprecedented turnout and was hailed as Egypt's most democratic since military officers overthrew the king in 1952.

But some voters blamed a lack of enthusiasm for the upper house election on the belief their ballot mattered little.

The powers of the upper house are limited and it cannot block legislation in the lower house. However, its members must be consulted before lower house members pass any bill.

The Brotherhood, which was banned during Mubarak's rule, won 47 percent of lower house seats, far more than any other party.

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