Muslim Brotherhood claims lead in Egypt

Nov. 30, 2011 at 1:18 PM
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CAIRO, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- The Muslim Brotherhood announced its political party was the largest winner in an unofficial tally of the first round of Egyptian parliamentary elections.

Egyptians voted this week in the first round of elections since a popular uprising ousted President Hosni Mubarak from power after nearly 30 years in office. Demonstrations in Tahrir Square in Cairo preceded the election, though voting was largely peaceful.

The Muslim Brotherhood, through its official Web site Ikwanweb, said its Freedom and Justice Party was "the biggest winner so far." The Salafist al-Nour party was second followed by the left-leaning Egyptian Bloc, the Muslim Brotherhood said in a statement.

An official tally isn't expected until later this week. Nevertheless, the Muslim Brotherhood said the Egyptian people supported the spirit of the revolution by isolating members of the Mubarak regime from the political process.

The Muslim Brotherhood said its members had noted irregularities at the polls. It faulted the Interior Ministry for failing to equip some polling stations for sorting ballots. Armed forces were observed at some polling stations, the organization added.

Political groups that emerged after the country's revolution complained entrenched groups like the Muslim Brotherhood and the Wafd Party, both founded in the 1920s, had an unfair political advantage.

The United Nations praised the Egyptian people for their support for the democratic process. The U.S. State Department said it sees the Muslim Brotherhood as a supporter of that aim.

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