Sunday, November 22, 2015

First Day Ends Smoothly for Second Stage of Egypt's Parliamentary Elections
Ahram Online
Sunday 22 Nov 2015

Egypt witnessed an uneventful first day of its second stage of parliamentary elections in 13 governorates Sunday, where President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi voted for the first time.

The second stage will wrap up on Monday, before run-offs on the 1st and 2nd of December.

The cabinet's operation room tasked with following the elections said the voting process on Sunday is characterised by "organisation and stability."

Sunday saw the first day of voting for Egypt's capital, which has 6.5 million registered voters, 11.2 percent of the total registered voters. It is allocated 49 out of 448 independent seats.

Cairo's deputy governor for the Northern area told MENA state news agency that the turnout was above average and that more participation is expected Monday.

Sunday's turnout at various polling stations ranked between below average and high.

Egyptians working in the public sector were given half of the day off on Sunday and Monday to allow them to vote. In the first stage, only half of the second day was off.

In parts of North Sinai governorate, where the army is fighting an Islamist insurgency in some areas, the curfew was shortened to start at 11pm instead of 7pm in order to facilitate voting within the circulation hours.

The army deployed 16,000 army personnel to secure the electoral process in the country.

Egyptians abroad voted for the second day Sunday. By 6pm local time Saturday, 18,500 expats had voted out of a total of 700,000 eligible to vote in both stages.

Voting for Egyptians abroad exceeded the turnout in the first stage, Higher Electoral Committee spokesperson Omar Marwan said in a statement Sunday.

Until 9pm, more than 36,000 had voted. The highest turnout has been in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

In the first stage in October, a total of 30,531 Egyptians abroad voted.

Residents in Egypt voted between 9am and 9pm local time.

In Egypt, a total of 41 polling stations in six governorates were late in opening by one or two hours, according to a cabinet operations room statement.

The Higher Electoral Committee spokesperson said the number of polling stations that delayed their opening was 93, with a delay from a minute to an hour.

Six polling stations halted the electoral process due to fatigue of the judges.

The HEC stated there were incidents of "taking pictures of a voting ballot and collecting ballots from voters in return for money."

As of noon, there were 141 complaints regarding incorrect voter information.

The number of eligible voters in the second stage is 28,204,225 out of a total of 55,606,578 voters.

Out of 27 governorates, the 13 governorates that voted were Cairo, Qalyubiya, Daqahliya, Menoufiya, Sharqiya, Gharbiya, Kafr El-Sheikh, Damietta, Port Said, Ismailiya, Suez, North Sinai, and South Sinai. The other 14 voted in the first stage with an official turnout of 26.5%.

A number of 222 seats for individual candidates and 60 seats for party-based lists are contested in the second stage, which means 282 seats out of a total of 596 will be in the parliament.

The 13 governorates are divided into 102 constituencies for candidates running individually (independent or affiliated to a party). As for party-based seats, the governorates are divided into two constituencies, one with 45 seats (Cairo, South and Middle Delta constituency) and the other with 15 (East Delta constituency).

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