Judges overseeing the vote count in Egypt's first parliamentary elections since Hosni Mubarak's ouster say near-final results show Islamist parities taking a majority of seats contested in the first round.

They say the Muslim Brotherhood could take 45 percent of the seats up for grabs. The liberal Egyptian bloc coalition and the ultra-fundamentalist Nour party are competing for second.

Together, Islamist parties would have a majority.

This week's vote was the first of six stages of parliamentary elections that will drag on until March.

Continued success by Islamists could allow them to give the country's government and constitution a more Islamist character.

The judges spoke on condition of anonymity because official results are expected to be released later Thursday.