Islamists posed to win majority in Egypt vote

By BEN HUBBARD | December 1, 2011 | 11:00 AM EST

Election workers count ballots for the parliamentary elections in Luxor, Egypt, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011. Egypt's military rulers are taking credit for the strong turnout in the country's first parliamentary elections since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, the head of the election commission proclaims that the turnout so far is "massive and unexpected,." (AP Photo)

CAIRO (AP) — Judges overseeing the vote count in Egypt's first parliamentary elections since Hosni Mubarak's ouster say near-final results show Islamist parities taking a majority of seats contested in the first round.

They say the Muslim Brotherhood could take 45 percent of the seats up for grabs. The liberal Egyptian bloc coalition and the ultra-fundamentalist Nour party are competing for second.

Together, Islamist parties would have a majority.

This week's vote was the first of six stages of parliamentary elections that will drag on until March.

Continued success by Islamists could allow them to give the country's government and constitution a more Islamist character.

The judges spoke on condition of anonymity because official results are expected to be released later Thursday.