Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood lead the run offs

December 7, 2011 21:26

CAIRO - Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood won a majority of run-off contests in the first round of a parliamentary election, the electoral commission said on Wednesday, consolidating its position as clear front-runners in the historic ballot.

However, turnout fell sharply in this week's polls, with just 39 percent of the electorate voting against 52 percent in initial polling last month, indicating possible disillusionment in some quarters over an early strong showing by Islamists.

The Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) won 24 of 44 seats awarded, while its allies took another four. The count for eight other seats was suspended pending legal challenges, but the FJP has said it expects to win six of them.

By contrast, the ultra-conservative Salafi al-Nour party won just four seats in the run-offs it contested, while a second Salafi group won another two seats.

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