The Muslim Brotherhood is consolidating its power in Egypt. The moderate Islamist party won 47 percent of the 508 seats in the People’s Assembly and 59 percent of the 180 elected seats on the Shura Council. (Another 90 lawmakers will be appointed to the Shura Council, the country’s upper house.)
The more radical Salafist al-Nour Party won 23 percent of the seats in the People’s Assembly and 25 percent of the elected seats in the Shura Council, so that Islamists dominate the new government, making secular and Coptic Christian minorities feel insecure. Islamists also control 70 of the 100 seats on the assembly chosen to draft a new constitution for the country.
The Muslim Brotherhood had said that it would not run a candidate in the presidential elections May 23-24, but has now nominated its deputy leader, Khairat Al-Shater, to run for the position. The Coptic Christian minority in Egypt had generally supported the popular uprising to remove the government of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011 but now fear that a Muslim government based on Islamic law could lead to increased persecution.