Government hopes for higher turnout on second day

Amira El-Fekki
3 Min Read
Photo by Amira El-Fekki

Polling stations opened Monday for the second and final day of the first phase of the parliamentary elections covering the governorates of Giza, Alexandria, Matruh, Beheira, Aswan, Luxor, Minya, Assiut, Sohag, Qena, Red Sea, New Valley, Fayoum and Beni Suef.

The cabinet decided Sunday that the public sector would be working Monday for “half a day,” amid scepticism that such a measure will enhance more participation into Egypt’s ongoing parliamentary elections, after the turnout was exceptionally low on the first day.

For the same reason the voting hours for Egyptians abroad had been extended, namely in Kuwait, to end at 6am on Monday, the same time elections concluded in the United States.

On Sunday evening, the spokesperson of the Supreme Electoral Commission (SEC) Omar Marwan said that a technical issue in the servers in Kuwait resulted in the obstruction of the electoral process for “10 minutes, then it was fixed”.

Marwan denied that the government’s decision regarding working hours Monday was suggested by the SEC. He also denied issuing any official percentages on participation rates, after local media reported 1% to 2% earlier that day.

TV hosts such as Mohamed Sherdi from Al-Mehwer TV and Youssef Al-Hosseiny from ONTV mocked the government’s decision saying it was not going to encourage voters, who have other issues than lack of time, which is lack of knowledge and motivation towards the candidates.

Most governorates reported low and below medium participation ranging from 10% to 15%. Several electoral experts such as Ayman Okeil, director of Maat and coordinator of the international observation mission in Egypt expected a second round would be necessary for almost 90% of the candidates.

Second rounds are scheduled for 26, 27 and 28 October.


Parliamentary elections 1st phase: Voters database and parliamentary representation in 14 governorates

Governorate Voters Candidates Seats
Giza 4,856578 432 48
Fayoum 1,713,332 135 19
Beni Suef 1,598,615 159 17
Qena 1,768,949 193 19
Minya 2,974,649 257 31
Red Sea 264,747 61 5
Alexandria 3,614,649 395 32
Beheira 3,528,484 249 34
Matruh 240,367 45 5
Assiut 2,367,337 182 25
Luxor 729,769 23 8
New Valley 156,454 41 5
Sohag 2,655,282 238 28
Aswan 923,141 130 10

*The number of candidates and seats is the total of lists and individual systems.

Each voter will be given two separate cards, one for the lists and one for individual candidates. Voters should know how many seats are allocated to their constituencies, to choose the number of candidates accordingly, which is also supposed to be marked on the card. One list should be elected, as a whole. Votes should be cast in separate boxes for lists and individual systems.

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Journalist in DNE's politics section, focusing on human rights, laws and legislations, press freedom, among other local political issues.
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