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Islamist landslide in Egypt’s polls

The results of the first round of Egyptian elections (out of 3 rounds) to the lower house of the parliament are slowly trickling in but it is possible to form early opinion about the ‘trend’ of the results. To my mind, the victory of the Islamists was a foregone conclusion, but the ‘trend’ is indeed staggering as regards the extent of the victory. From various sources, the picture that emerges is that the Muslim Brotherhood [MB] may win 40 percent of votes. They are in the lead. 

Now comes the ‘jolt’: after MB comes not the secularists but the hardline coalition of Salafist parties known as Al Nour, which may secure between 20 to 25 percent of votes. Third comes the secular moderate coalition called the Egyptian Bloc with 15 to 20 percent of votes. Unsurprisingly, Hosni Mubarak’s National Democratic Party has been routed. 
From the spread of the returns – rural areas as well as great cities of Cairo and Alexandria – this seems to be a nation-wide trend. In sum, it is an Islamist landslide. Egypt is not going to be the same again – nor the Middle East. The reverberations will be felt all over the region, especially for Israel, Saudi Arabia and Iran – and all the way across the Mediterranean and the Atlantic.. 
Israel will ponder over the fate of the peace accords that held for 30 years. Saudis have spent a lot of money to buy up ‘New Egypt’ but the islamists are of different hues and can Riyadh buy up all of them? Iran will draw comfort that another genuinely popular ‘Islamic regime’ is born in the region. 
But the Sphinx is smiling. There is still some way to go for the People’s Power to assert conclusively. There are further stages ahead, since the elections to the Consultative Council are to be held and a full new parliament may take place only in March. And that is a long time in politics. 
Israeli intelligence is working overtime to break up the solidarity of the revolution – and, curiously, Saudi Arabia is lending its shoulder too. Above all, there will be continued US attempts to keep the military junta going for as long as possible, as this report by Russia Today strongly suggests. Pray Barack Obama, what a time to ship 21 tonnes of tear gas shells for use in Tahrir Square! Read the Al Ahram report.  

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