The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party won 36.6% and the Salafis of the Al Nour party won 24.4% of the 9.7 million votes cast. The Brotherhood’s dominance was expected, but the strong showing by the Salafis was a surprise, suggesting Egyptians were heavily influenced by the religious message and grass-roots organization of the Islamists.
If the trend continues in the second and third rounds, Islamists could control parliament. But in recent days the Muslim Brotherhood has distanced itself from the puritanical Salafis, attempting to strike a moderate tone that could possibly persuade secular and centrist parties to join it in a coalition government. The Brotherhood is pushing for a constitution anchored in Islamic law but has been careful not to emphasize religion over mending the nation’s severe economic and social problems…
The Islamists’ victory has been foreshadowed by preelection polls as well as by early unofficial reports about the elections’ outcome. But the official results showed just how thoroughly the young revolutionaries who plugged into social media to ignite a revolution that brought down President Hosni Mubarak in February had failed to excite voters. They won no more than 336,000 votes.
Hampered by political naivete, egos and lack of funding, the young activists were overwhelmed at the polls by better organized Islamists.