George Friedman

Summary

Egypt's political factions are awaiting the results of the third round of lower house parliamentary elections, which are very likely to confirm that the country's two main Islamist parties, the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) and the Salafist al-Nour party, have placed first and second in the voting and have a combined majority of seats. However, while the two Islamist parties will likely emerge from the elections governing Egypt, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) still rules the country, and tensions persist between the political proxies of the Brotherhood and the Salafists. The FJP thus will need to balance the interests of the SCAF, the Salafists and Egyptian voters if it is to remain effective during the formation of the country's new government.

Analysis

Egypt held the runoffs for the third and final round of parliamentary elections for its lower house Jan. 10-11. A supplementary phase and runoffs for postponed governorates will follow Jan. 14-19. The first two rounds of voting saw the country's main Islamist parties, the Muslim Brotherhood's (MB's) Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) and the Salafist Al-Nour party, in first and second place with 36.5 percent and 26.6 percent of the vote, respectively. Results of the third round of voting, as well as those of the two rounds of voting for upper house elections set for Jan. 29-Feb. 22, are expected to be similar, which would give these parties a combined majority in parliament.


George Friedman

George Friedman is the CEO and chief intelligence officer of Stratfor, a private intelligence company located in Austin, TX.