Egyptians Vote in First Phase of Parliamentary Elections
Egypt is voting Saturday and Sunday in the first phase of parliamentary elections that are expected to produce a legislative body packed with supporters of President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, like the previous one.
Public criticism of the government in Egypt is strongly discouraged and authorities have ratcheted up their crackdown on dissent in recent years. The crackdown targets not only the supporters of the banned Muslim Brotherhood group, but also secular pro-democracy activists, journalists and online critics, effectively leaving the president with no formal political opposition.
About 63 million voters are eligible to cast ballots in the two-stage election for 568 out of 596 total seats of the lower house of parliament.
Over 4,000 candidates are competing as individuals for 50% of the seats and 1,100 candidates are running on four party lists. Sissi will appoint 28 legislators to fill 5% of the seats for the total number of 596 deputies in the chamber.
Fourteen of Egypt’s 27 provinces, including Giza and the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria are also voting this weekend.
The country’s 13 other provinces, including the capital Cairo and the two provinces in Sinai Peninsula, will vote in the second phase, scheduled for November 7 and 8.
Each phase of the vote will be followed by runoff elections. The final results will be announced in December, with the inaugural session to follow shortly after.