Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood picks its chief as speaker

Top parties in Egypt’s incoming parliament are picking an Islamist as speaker for the first time.

The Muslim Brotherhood, the big winner in the first election since the ousting of President Hosni Mubarak last February, said Monday it has joined several other parties in backing Saad el-Katatni. He’s the secretary-general of the Brotherhood’s own party.

The main function of the new parliament is to pick a 100-person commission to draw up a new constitution for Egypt. The selection shows the power of the Islamists to influence that process.

The Muslim Brotherhood-led alliance won more than 45 percent of the 498 parliament seats. A more radical Islamist movement won another 25 percent. The two are not seen likely to join forces on many issues because of their religious differences.

AP