Egypt pardons nearly 2,000 prisoners; Islamists take three quarters of parliament


An Egyptian soldier checks the ID card of a Niqab-clad woman at the entrance of a polling station in Qaliubia, some 40 kms north of Cairo, on January 4, 2012 as Egyptians headed to the polls again in the final round of a phased election to choose the first parliament since a popular uprising toppled Hosni Mubarak in February. AFP PHOTO/MOHAMMED ABED


Mohammed Abed

The chief Egyptian military prosecutor decided to pardon a blogger, who was jailed for criticizing the army, among nearly 2,000 detainees, on the one-year anniversary of the Egyptian uprising that led to the ousting of President Hosni Mubarak, the Associated Press reported.

Blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad was arrested in March and sentenced to two years in prison after he was charged with criticizing the army and publishing false information. He posted blogs comparing the military to Mubarak’s regime, which is usually voiced by protesters, the AP reported.

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Also on Saturday, it was announced the Islamist parties won nearly three quarters of the seats in Egypt’s parliament, according to final results released on Saturday from the country’s first election post-Mubarak, the AP reported.

The Muslim Brotherhood took the biggest amount of seats allocated to party lists, which will give it a major role in drafting Egypt’s new constitution, Reuters reported. The Muslim Brotherhood was formerly banned under Mubarak and his predecessors. Military generals, which previously served under Mubarak, will oversee the committee for the new constitution.

The Brotherhood won 47 percent, or 235 seats in the 498-seat parliament, while the ultraconservative Al-Nour party followed with 25 percent, or 125 seats, the AP reported.

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"The most important element that led Islamists to win is their use of Islamic language in their outreach," Abu-Hamed, deputy leader of the liberal Free Egyptians Party told the AP. "They pressured people's religious conscience.”

The new parliament will hold its first session on Jan. 23, and “is the best celebration of the Egyptian revolution,” Freedom and Justice said in a statement, Bloomberg reported.