By RFE RL
(RFE/RL) — Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood has called on its rivals to accept the will of the people after a first-round vote appeared to set its party on course to take the most seats in the country’s first freely elected parliament in six decades.
The group said in a statement that “those who weren’t successful…should work hard to serve people to win their support next time.”
Rivals accused the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party of using handouts of cheap food and medicine to influence voters and of breaking election rules by lobbying outside voting stations.
Preliminary results from the first round of parliamentary voting show the Brotherhood’s liberal rivals could be pushed into third place behind ultraconservative Salafi Islamists.
More than 13 million voters cast ballots in voting on November 28 and 29 in one-third of the country’s provinces — the first of three rounds for the lower house.
Three other rounds lasting until March will elect the less powerful upper house.