Live Updates: Final Day of Voting in Egypt’s Presidential Election

09:30 Sabahi‘s campaign remained upbeat about their candidate’s chances yesterday, saying that he “remains in serious contention to win the elections,” in a statement late on Monday after voting had ended.

The statement called on young people to turn out on Tuesday to back the leftist candidate, arguing that the youth vote will be “the decisive factor in determining the winner.”

09:15 As mentioned above, there seem to be several official moves to boost turnout and encourage Egyptians to exercise their right to vote. Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab last night declared that he was bowing to popular pressure to give all government employees the day off to allow them to cast their ballots.

The Presidential Elections Commission has also announced that voting hours will be extended by an hour, with polls set to close at 10pm instead of 9pm.

09:00 Welcome to Ahram Online’s live blog. We’ll be covering the voting in the second and final day of Egypt’s 2014 presidential election, which features two candidates: former military chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and leftist Hamdeen Sabahi.

Monday, the first day of voting, was quieter and more peaceful than many national elections in Egypt have been in the last few years. One IED exploded near a polling station in Fayoum but led to no injuries, while police said another six were diffused in three locations including Giza and Kafr El-Sheikh.

There were also some isolated clashes between security forces and supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, who argue the election is illegitimate. Police dispersed protests in Cairo, Alexandria and Minya, among other places.

There were some reports of electoral violations, but these were limited in scope. Sabahi’s campaign claimed security forces prevented some of their representatives from entering polling stations, which prompted them to file official complaints. They also reported that a military vehicle had blared pro-El-Sisi slogans.

El-Sisi’s campaign also reported some violations, including delays in opening some polling stations and preventing some of the campaign’s representatives from monitoring operations inside polling stations.

There was also much speculation about turnout yesterday; some reported long queues of enthusiastic voters, while others witnessed near empty polling stations. Sabahi’s campaign said in a mid-day press conference that its reports indicated a modest turnout but expressed hopes that more people would show up after sundown. They especially urged young people to come out and vote, driven by the belief that young people will back Sabahi.

The pro-Morsi National Alliance in Support of Legitimacy, meanwhile, released a statement saying that many Egyptians had boycotted the vote.

Today will be a public holiday for government employees, according to an announcement last night. That might have an effect on turnout.  The judicial body that is overseeing the voting process, the Presidential Election Commission (PEC) has also announced that voting will be extended by an hour today, to 10pm . Either way, we have a full day of voting ahead, with polling stations opening at 9am, and it is probably to early to speculate about overall turnout.

For more information on the pro-Sisi, pro-Sabahi, and pro-boycott camps, see our break down here, and for all the details of yesterday’s vote, see here.

El-Sisi is widely expected to win by a comfortable majority, as he did in last week’s expat vote, when he garnered 94.5 percent of the vote.

Source:Al-Ahram Online

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