Egypt's new parliament holds first post-Mubarak session

A worker cleans the gate leading to the parliament building in Cairo ahead of the first post-Mubarak session.

Story highlights

  • Egypt's military rulers hand over legislative powers to lower house of parliament
  • This is the first Islamist-dominated parliament in Egypt's history
  • Parliament is expected to vote for the speaker of the house and his two deputies
  • Presidential elections are set for June
Egypt's military rulers said they handed legislative powers to the country's lower house of parliament on Monday -- the first day the parliament convened since former President Hosni Mubarak's ouster last year.
It is the first parliament in the country's history to be dominated by Islamists.
Two Islamist parties won about 70% of the seats in elections for the lower house of parliament, according to electoral commission figures released Saturday.
The Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party won 235 seats and the conservative Al Nour party gained 121 seats in the People's Assembly, according to final results.
As one of their first acts, lawmakers are expected to vote for the speaker of the house and his two deputies.
The session came two days before the January 25 anniversary of the start of the uprising that toppled the former leader's regime.
The assembly consists of 498 elected members and 10 others chosen by the country's military rulers, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.
The council's appointees include five people of the Coptic Christian faith, a minority group that has faced attacks and is fearful of Islamism.
Last week, Egypt's top political parties agreed to nominate a member of the Muslim Brotherhood for speaker, the first time in decades that an Islamist would hold that post.
He is Mohamed Katatni, an FJP politician.
"The top priorities of the next parliament are social justice, retribution for martyrs, fulfilling goals and demands of the revolution and the advancement of Egypt," Katatni said in a written statement.
Elections for the upper house of parliament, the Shura Council, will be completed next month. Presidential elections are set for June.
The full parliament must appoint a 100-member panel to write a new Egyptian constitution.
The assembly convenes a year after popular revolts erupted, eventually leading to Mubarak's downfall. The longtime president is on trial on charges of corruption and ordering the deaths of hundreds of protesters.
Military rulers have led Egypt's government since Mubarak's fall. They have said they will hand over power to a new government once one is in place.
But the transition has not been quick or transparent enough for some Egyptians. A series of protests in Cairo last month resulted in violent and sometimes deadly clashes between demonstrators and soldiers.
Meanwhile, Mubarak is on trial on charges of corruption and ordering the deaths of hundreds of protesters during the clashes last year that led to his downfall.