The third stage of Egypt’s parliamentary elections started on the 1st January 2012. Once it is over, elections will be held in the constituencies where they were postponed or cancelled for one reason or another. Despite the fact that this election has proved that nothing goes on exactly as planned during the transitional period, it is expected that the electoral process would be completed by 20th January 2012 and that the People’s Assembly would convene its first session on the 23rd , the first since the Egyptian revolution and just two days its anniversary. The decision by Field Marshal Tantawi that the Assembly would convene before the anniversary is an attempt to confirm steady progress in the transitional period and to contain rumours about plans to blow out a new wave of violence on the 25th of the month.
However, regardless of the remaining outcome of the election stage, the coming Assembly is expected to consist of a parliamentary bloc from the Freedom and Justice Party, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies. It will include about 230 members of parliament (including approximately 24 from parties allied with Freedom and Justice), and a smaller cluster from the Salafi Al Nour Party and its allies of about 110 members of parliament. Then follow both the Egyptian Bloc and the Wafd Party with about thirty members of parliament each. The rest of the seats will be distributed among smaller parties and small blocs, in addition to a number of independent MPs.
Should these expectations come true, the Freedom and Justice Party will not be able to obtain an absolute majority in the Assembly, which is supposed to include 498 members of parliament and another ten appointed by Field Marshal Tantawi (who serves as President). However, the Freedom and Justice party bloc will certainly be the largest (46-48 percent of the number of seats). It is difficult to achieve any progress in the course of Egypt's political destiny without agreement with this bloc and the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood standing behind it.
Certainly, parliamentary elections do not symbolise the end of the transitional period as Egypt continues to tackle a significant number of files that must be resolved before handing over the reins of the country to an elected civilian authority. The purpose of the election is to push the country towards the resolution of these files faster after results showed the sizes and weights of the various political forces in Egyptian streets, at least at this critical stage.