Egypt votes in 2nd-stage parliamentary polls

Egyptians voted in the second stage of parliamentary elections in 13 out of the country’s 27 provinces, including the capital Cairo, Suez, Port Said, Ismailia, North Sinai and South Sinai.

Out of the total 63 million eligible voters in Egypt, more than 31 million were entitled to cast their ballots in the two-day second and last stage to elect their representatives in the country’s legislative body, or the House of Representatives, reports Xinhua news agency.

At least 2,367 candidates are competing for 284 out of 568 parliament seats in this stage that started on Saturday.

Just like the first stage, half of the seats are allocated to individual candidates and the other half to party lists.

The elections are being held amid intensive security deployment and tight precautionary measures against the Covid-19 pandemic, where voters pass through disinfection gates to reach their polling stations and everyone wears medical face masks.

The Egyptian presidential media center showed footage of President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi casting his vote in the parliamentary elections earlier in on Saturday at one of the polling stations in Cairo.

In addition to the main 568 seats, the President will appoint 28 members according to the law, raising the total seats of the House of Representatives to 596.

At some 9,468 polling stations in the 13 provinces, the polls were overseen by about 12,000 judges and nearly 570 correspondents from 166 media institutions, as well as local and foreign organizations and candidate representatives.

The first stage of the Egyptian parliamentary elections was held on October 24-25 in 14 provinces including Giza, Alexandria, the Red Sea, Luxor and Aswan, with a similar number of candidates competing for half of the seats.

The turnout in the first stage, which involved 31.7 million eligible voters, stood at 28.06 per cent, according to the National Election Authority (NEA).

The result of the second stage will be announced on November 15.

The run-off rounds of the first stage inside the country will be held on November 23-24 and those of the second, if any, on December 7-8.

In August, Egyptians elected the country’s first Senate with 300 members, one third of whom are appointed by the President.

The newly created Senate will be an advisory body without legislative authority.