CAIRO - 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.