The Muslim Brotherhood is predicted to win a majority of seats in the first elections to be held in Egypt since the fall of Hosni Mubarak and the first free ones since the overthrow of the monarchy in 1952, according to Reuters.
Elections have entered the third and final phase of voting for the people’s assembly, the Egyptian government’s lower house, and according to The Guardian, analysts are predicting a majority for the Muslim Brotherhood, represented in the Freedom and Justice party (FJP). Around 15 million people were supposed to participate in this round, though The Guardian is reporting that voter turn out is lower than the first two rounds, hovering at 35 percent.
With the possibility of a government led by the Muslim Brotherhood, The New York Times reports that President Obama’s administration is re-examining its relationship with the historically Islamist and militant organization and reaching out with high-level meetings and diplomatic overtures.
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The move of seeking closer ties with the FJP also reflects the Obama administration’s increasing frustration with Egypt’s interim government headed by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which has drawn criticism for the outbreak of violence during protests, as well as the raiding of non-governmental organizations in Cairo, as the BBC reports.
According to Al Jazeera, the Muslim Brotherhood has expressed its desire to work with rival political groups on the drafting of the new constitution.
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A senior administration official spoke to The Times anonymously, saying, “There doesn’t seem to me to be any other way to do it, except to engage with the party that won the election. They’ve been very specific about conveying a moderate message — on regional security and domestic issues, and economic issues, as well.”
It remains to be seen whether Egypt will serve as a template for the rest of the Middle East in the electoral process.