President Hosni Mubarak's ruling National Democratic Party won the lion's share of votes in runoff elections for the country's 444-seat Parliament, with independents, including Moslem fundamentalists, a distant second, press reports said Friday.
Egypt's Middle East News Agency said the Western-oriented NDP clinched 348 seats or 79.6 percent of the vote, while independents took 19 percent or 83 seats.Most of the independents who won were right-wing former members of the NDP and some were Islamic fundamentalists.
The Marxist-oriented National Progressive Unionist Rally clinched 1.4 percent of the vote or six seats, including one for party leader Khaled Mohieddin.
Arab radio stations said the vote was an endorsement of Mubarak's handling of the Persian Gulf crisis although the large number of independents elected was a reminder that Egypt's economy still suffers from over-centralization, inflation and unemployment.
Some independents called on Mubarak to come off the fence between leftist Nasserites and free marketeers in his own party and take the risk of lifting subsidies on basic food items and promoting more private enterprise.
Late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat tried to import more consumer goods after the years of leftist rule by Gamal Abdel Nasser but Mubarak has cautiously trodden the more difficult path of trying to reform Egyptian industry.