Egypt`s Brotherhood claims majority in Parliament vote
Muslim Brotherhood, which was banned during Hosni Mubarak`s rule, won 47 percent of lower house seats
Cairo: The Muslim Brotherhood claimed in its own newspaper on Friday it had scored an outright majority in an election for Egypt`s upper house of Parliament after having emerged as the top party in an earlier lower house vote.
The official results of the upper house vote are due to be released on Sunday, however, turnout was low for the two-round poll which began on January 29.
The Brotherhood`s Freedom and Justice newspaper said the Islamist group`s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) had won 107 seats, or 59 percent of the upper house`s 180 seats.
It said another Islamist Party, the Salafist Nour Party, won 46 seats. Among secularist and liberal parties, Wafd won 19 seats and the Egyptian Bloc seven. An independent candidate took one seat.
The parliamentary votes, which began in late November, are the first since a popular uprising toppled president Hosni Mubarak a year ago.
The earlier lower house election saw an unprecedented turnout and was hailed as Egypt`s most democratic since military officers overthrew the king in 1952.
But some voters blamed a lack of enthusiasm for the upper house election on the belief their ballot mattered little.
The powers of the upper house are limited and it cannot block legislation in the lower house. However, its members must be consulted before lower house members pass any bill.
The Brotherhood, which was banned during Mubarak`s rule, won 47 percent of lower house seats, far more than any other party.