Surge of Islamic parties in Egypt is not surprising

By Linda S. Heard

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and ultra-religious Salafist parties have garnered more than 60 percent of the parliamentary ballot conducted in nine Egyptian governorates last week. That was the first of a series of elections relating to the Lower House and the Upper House from now until January which will be followed by the presidential ballot in June.

The preliminary outcome has been a source of dismay for Egyptian liberals, modernists and secularists who generally believed Islamic parties would walk away with no more than 40 percent of the vote; most were convinced that former president Mubarak’s prophecy was nothing more than scaremongering designed to keep his regime in power.