WASHINGTON (AP) --The Obama administration is praising Egypt's parliamentary elections as a success.
The two days of voting were largely peaceful and marked by high turnouts.
In a statement today, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says "Egyptians are justifiably proud to begin the process of choosing their new leaders." She adds it's important that Egypt's transition continues "in a just, transparent and inclusive manner."
The praise comes as early returns suggest the Muslim Brotherhood and more hardline Islamic parties are faring well in the voting.
Washington had pressed Egypt's ruling military council to stick to its election timeline despite objections from pro-democracy street protesters and the risk that a result favoring Islamist parties could leave the U.S. with less influence and fewer friends in the Middle East.
The administration criticized the council last week for a crackdown by security forces that killed more than 40 people. Clinton has warned the generals that if "a roomful of unelected officials" remain Egypt's most powerful political force for too long, they will plant "the seeds for future unrest."
(Copyright 2011, The Associated Press)