Egypt's second of three rounds of parliamentary elections began today, and two of the big talking points during this election are booze and beachwear -- at least according to CNN's report. Egypt's Islamist parties -- the two most powerful being relatively moderate Muslim Brotherhood and more conservative Salafis -- stand to make further gains in the second round of elections as voting opened today in "the Giza, Luxor, Aswan and Ismailia regions, which have historically favored conservative Islamic candidates." That has liberals in the country worried, since the Islamist parties already won about two-thirds of the first round's vote, as Reuters reports. Their concern is that Islamists will walk back secular reforms: "Just this last week, the Salafis, the ultra-conservative [party], came out and were talking about certain thing like banning booze in Egypt and segregating beaches and banning bikinis on beaches," reports CNN's Ian Lee. But liberals just don't want imposed religious norms -- banning alcohol and bikinis would hurt the Egyptian economy. "These are things that have a lot of people worried because Egypt really relies on the tourism industry for revenue." Money seems to be talking to the Muslim Brotherhood and some other Salafis, who say they wouldn't do anything to hurt the tourism industry. "We will not rule Egypt alone. Parliament will include all the colors of the rainbow that must agree on one direction, one goal," the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Badie, told supporters on TV, according to Reuters.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.