Nightly News | November 28, 2011
BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: And now we turn to Egypt , where this is a history-making day, the first election day since Mubarak fell. And tonight our chief foreign correspondent, Richard Engel , is in Cairo , where there may be reason for the US to be worried about the outcome of this vote.
RICHARD ENGEL reporting: With every vote cast, every finger dipped in ink, Egypt today moved closer to democracy.
Unidentified Woman #1: For the first time we feel that we can really make a difference.
ENGEL: Four thousand candidates are running for parliament from more than 40 political parties. Voting stations so crowded, soldiers had to keep order. But voting was largely peaceful. It didn't seem possible even a week ago when protesters clashed with security forces. Tonight those protesters stayed in Tahrir Square , boycotting the vote, saying it's not democratic enough, that the military still has too much power.
Unidentified Man #1: I don't trust in this elections.
ENGEL: But the boycott could benefit their main opponent, Egypt 's Muslim Brotherhood , banned under Mubarak . At one of Cairo 's busiest polling centers, most people told us they support the brotherhood.
Unidentified Man #2: The most organized party in Egypt and make good deeds for the people here.
ENGEL: Do you think Americans should be worried about the Muslim Brotherhood ?
Unidentified Woman #2: No, no. Why?
ENGEL: Because people in the US think maybe they're extremists, they want to change Egypt into a Islamic state .
Woman #2: They want -- they must have a chance. They must have a chance.
ENGEL: The brotherhood is powerful, rich, often anti-American and definitely anti- Israel . The group is taking advantage of this opportunity, handing out leaflets as voters go to the polls and recording exit polls on laptops, the only party we saw doing that. This democratic transition may be flawed, but the Muslim Brotherhood isn't letting that get in its way. Elections will be taking place here, Brian , over the next several months, but the potential political fallout could be severe. Egypt has long been a close and reliable US partner in the Middle East . That could be changing.
WILLIAMS: Richard Engel watching it all tonight in Cairo . Richard , thanks