CAIRO: The loss of some tribe-backed candidates is one of the main reasons for the low voter turnout in the North Sinai run-offs on Tuesday.
Three of the four candidates contesting the two single winner seats allocated to the constituency are from the coastal Al-Arish city, while one is from Beir El-Abd. Some 203,369 citizens in the border province are eligible to vote.
The elections that were held on Jan. 3-4 were dominated by tribal affiliations rather than political interests. Political parties had approached tribes to nominate the members on their lists.
“Our political scene is very complicated, while some are driven by tribalism, others seek to bring Salafis and the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party to the political scene,” local journalist and political activist Ashraf El Aini previously told DNE.
With many of the tribes’ representatives losing in the race, a large voting bloc is believed to be consequently absent.
Run-offs in the first two phases of the staggered vote were generally marked with lower turnout than the first stage.
The run-offs in North Sinai are between the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party and the ultra-conservative Salafi Al-Nour Party.
North Sinai residents said they expect Islamists to represent the province in parliament.
Earlier this month, voters cast their ballots in the third phase of parliamentary elections where 57 candidates and 13 party lists competed over six seats in the upcoming lower house.
Like the first two days of voting, the Egyptian authorities have closed the province’s Rafah crossing to Gaza for the run-offs.