ICEC

Turnout Shura Council polls remains weak

Polling stations opened with low voter turnout Wednesday for the second day in the final round of elections for the Shura Council, Egypt’s upper house of Parliament.

This round, which started Tuesday and ends Wednesday, is being held in 14 governorates: Aswan, Beheira, Beni Suef, Giza, Ismailia, Kafr al-Sheikh, Luxor, Marsa Matrouh, Minya, Port Said, Qalyubiya, Sharqiya, Sohag and Suez, where 536 candidates are competing for 60 party list-based seats. Another 891 candidates are running for 30 single-winner seats. Runoffs are slated to start 22 February.

Voter turnout remains low in most of the governorates, according to several reports.

One World Foundation, an Egyptian human rights organization observing the process, reported that several violations took place, such as campaigning outside polling stations, the absence of voter registries and delays in opening some stations.

Supervisors at some stations referred voters to candidates’ campaigns outside the stations to provide them with the information they needed, the report said, and some campaigners tried to use this to influence voters.

The foundation’s observers in Suez said minors campaigned for the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party outside the Nasser Preparatory School polling station.

 

Campaigns by supporters of both list-based and independent candidates intensified midday despite the weak turnout.

FJP swept many of the seats during the first round earlier this month, held in 13 governorates including Cairo, followed by the Salafi-oriented Nour Party.

Voter turnout for that round was 15 percent.

Source: Egypt Independent

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