Egypt Islamists claim huge victory in Parliamentary elections
While there are still a few runoff contests to be conducted for seats in the lower house of Egypt's parliament, it seems clear that the Muslim Brotherhood and their Salafis allies will claim more than 2/3 of the seats with the Brotherhood alone gaining more than 40% of the races.
The Muslim Brotherhood said on Saturday it had won at least 41 percent of the seats in Egypt's lower house of parliament, with Islamists of various stripes occupying almost two thirds of the assembly so far.
Banned under deposed President Hosni Mubarak, the Brotherhood has emerged as a major winner from the uprising that toppled him, exploiting a well-organized support base in the first free legislative vote in decades.
It may be some weeks before the exact shape of the lower house is known because of various runoff votes. However, it is unlikely that their outcome will alter the dominance of the Islamists who now look set to wield major influence over the shape a new constitution to be drafted by a 100-strong body that the new assembly will pick.
The Brotherhood has promised that Egyptians of all persuasions will have their say and, while the strong Islamist performance has alarmed some Egyptians and Western governments that backed Mubarak, it is far from clear whether rival Islamists will cooperate in the new legislature.
The Brotherhood's Democratic Alliance list has won 41 percent of the seats so far, while another list led by the hardline Islamist Nour Party came second with 20 percent of the seats.
Could this catastrophe have been avoided? Only if Mubarak were still in power and pulling his electoral shenanigans. The fact is, the Egyptian people clearly want an extremist Muslim government - have wanted it for decades - and a Brotherhood victory was always in the cards.
There may be a sizable minority that is opposed to the Brotherhood. There are fewer still who want a pluralistic, democratic state. And the extremists will have a problem dealing with the military, who are not only suspicious of the Islamists, but are unalterably opposed to their plans to reduce the role of the military in government and society.
But for the foreseeable future, the Islamists will have the power to reshape Egyptian society and foment hatred of Israel. Because of that, the world will be a far more dangerous, and unstable place.