AFRICA/EGYPT - "In the long term disenchantment will prevail towards the political proposal of the Islamists," says a missionary from Cairo

Cairo (Agenzia Fides) - "This is the first data and not the final official data, but expresses a real tendency," says to Fides Fr. Luciano Verdoscia, a Comboni missionary who lives and works in Cairo, commenting on the first results of the first round of elections for the Egyptian Lower Chamber, November 28. According to the data, still provisional, the party linked to the Muslim Brotherhood obtained roughly 40% of the votes, the Salafists 20% and the liberal block around 17%. "The Islamic front worked extensively in the popular neighborhoods," explains Fr. Luciano. "Surely the Islamic front will be the most important political force in Egypt, obtaining a relative majority, we will see if it can reach the absolute majority. I do not think, however, that in the elections there will be surprises, because I do not think that the rural areas of Upper Egypt (where one will vote for the lower Chamber between December and January 3) are oriented differently". The seizure of power by the Muslim Brotherhood, according to Fr. Luciano, could have a paradoxical result. "When the Islamists come to power, it will be the beginning of the end of this tendency- says the missionary - although it will take some years, because ultimately, people will prevail in the disenchantment of the formula presented by the political ideology of Islamic parties like the solution to all problems of the Middle East and the world". With regard to the movement of Tahrir Square, which gave rise to the Egyptian turning point with the fall of Mubarak, Fr. Luciano noted that "in Tahrir Square a liberal core has been created because in fact the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis have sided with the army in the fighting in past days." We ask therefore Fr. Luciano if the movement of Tahrir Square was defeated by these elections. "The movement of Tahrir was never organized as a real political party," says the missionary. "This movement has strongly advocated democracy and free elections. Now the democratic process has started and because the political Islamic members were better organized we face this reality, with which we have to deal", he concludes. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 01/12/2011)