With Islamists making up the overwhelming majority of its lawmakers, the People's Assembly elected in Egypt's first legislative vote after Hosni Mubarak's ouster nearly a year ago held its inaugural session on Monday.
A runoff Monday for Egypt's first-round parliamentary elections exposed tensions between competing Islamist parties that so far have dominated the vote.
It was a strange scene in Cairo Thursday as the head of the country's election commission convened a press conference to announce the results of this week's first round of parliamentary elections. Abdul Moiz Ibrahim hailed the 62 percent turnout in the compulsory poll as the best showing "since the time of the pharaohs" - rulers not known for their belief in participatory government. Mr. Ibrahim alluded vaguely to problems in counting the ballots. Just as Mr. Ibrahim was expected to deliver the results, he abruptly left the room. "I have no more energy," he said, "I've run out of gas."
The Obama administration has been talking up the Muslim Brotherhood as a necessary part of Egypt's future. The brothers, however, are denouncing the U.S. takedown of Osama bin Laden, so the White House might want to find some better friends.