Nov. 30 - Vote count is underway in Egypt after landmark election. Marie-Claire Fennessy reports.
Egypt eagerly awaits the early results in what looks to be the first free and fair elections in decades. As votes are counted one international observer commended Egyptians for a largely transparent election process. (SOUNDBITE) MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA DIRECTOR FOR THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTE, LESLIE CAMPBELL, SAYING (English): "But, I have to give the Egyptians high marks for transparency, as you can see at this counting centre and in the scenes here with hundreds of people watching and poll workers counting in the full view of cameras and media and candidate representatives and so on. They're making a lot of attempts to make this a transparent process. That's a huge improvement from past elections, and so I'm cautiously optimistic." One of the parties expected to do well in the elections is the Muslim Brotherhood, once outlawed by ousted President Hosni Mubarak and his predecessors. Now it could play a role in shaping the country's future. Head of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), the Muslim Brotherhood's political wing said the parliament that emerges should form a government. (SOUNDBITE) HEAD OF FREEDOM AND JUSTICE PARTY (FJP), DOCTOR MOHAMED MURSI, SAYING(Arabic): "The majority in the upcoming parliament will form the government. And we think it is better that it is a coalition government built on the majority in the parliament." This could cause confrontation between the Islamists and the ruling generals who have only just named a new prime minister. One military council member has said the new parliament would not have the authority to dismiss the new prime minister's government or form a new one. The two-day vote was mostly peaceful though calm was shattered on Tuesday night. Nearly 80 people were wounded in violence during a protest by activists demanding an end to army rule. The election for Egypt's lower house is taking place in three provincial phases, finishing in early January. Marie-Claire Fennessy, Reuters