Egypt: Liberal fear in new poll

Egyptians turned out in large numbers yesterday for a second round of parliamentary elections, with Islamists looking to boost their already overwhelming lead and liberal voters concerned the outcome will push the country in a more religious direction.

Two Islamist blocs won close to 70 per cent of seats in the first round on 28 and 29 November. The secular and liberal forces that largely drove Egypt's uprising were trounced. The final two rounds of voting are not expected to alter dramatically the result and could strengthen the Islamists' hand.