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Islamist most likely to become speaker of Egypt's next parliament

Cairo, Tue, 17 Jan 2012 ANI

Cairo, Jan.17 (ANI): Liberals and Islamists in Egypt have announced a temporary power sharing plan that would install a Muslim Brotherhood leader as the speaker of the country's newly elected parliament.


The agreement between six political parties all but guarantees that the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party will lead Egypt's first elected parliament since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak in February, with the Islamist party expected to control as many as half the seats, the Washington Post reports.


Under the power-sharing agreement, the ultra-conservative Salafist Nour Party and the liberal al-Wafd Party would also claim top positions, with their representatives serving as deputy speakers, the parties announced during a news conference Monday at the Freedom and Justice Party's headquarters.


With a week left until the lower house of the parliament meets, the Freedom and Justice Party said its nominee for speaker would be Mohamed Saad Katatny, the party's secretary general.


During the announcement, the party heads said the agreement would be a temporary alliance to put their voting weight behind agreed-upon candidates for the parliament's leadership positions.


"This is a one-day agreement for the day the parliament opens," Mohamed Abou el-Ghar, the head of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party said.


He added: "We have to cooperate so the main posts in the parliament are distributed fairly to all parties, including the people who won the elections."


Abou el-Ghar said it was possible that his own party could still be allotted one of the deputy positions if the Wafd party chose not to go along with the accord.


The Social Democratic Party is part of an alliance of liberals and leftists that are expected to take the fourth most seats after the Freedom and Justice Party, the Nour party and al-Wafd.


Final results of the elections are expected this week, but party projections and early returns show that Islamists are expected to take about two-thirds of the seats, most of which will go to the political wing of the historic Muslim Brotherhood organization.


Meanwhile, Egypt's military rulers have made clear that they would like to oversee the constitution-writing process and possibly influence the selection of the constituent assembly. (ANI)


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