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Low turnout for re-run of parliamentary elections in 4 areas

Electoral re-runs are being re-held in Beni Suef City, Al-Wasta, Damanhour City and Raml district in Alexandria from December 5-7, due to administrative errors the first time round. 

Although elections in these areas were initially scheduled for the first phase of the parliamentary vote in October, re-runs are being held from Saturday to Monday after local administrative courts ruled the voting process was void due to errors in the final electoral lists, resulting in the inclusion of some candidates despite their earlier disqualification.

Reports on Sunday were of extremely low voter turnout for these re-runs. According to a senior official from Beheira, voter turnout in Damanhour City was at 3.5 percent of eligible voters, the privately owned Al-Watan newspaper reported.

Additionally, several polling stations reportedly opened late due to the delayed arrival of judges overseeing the process, the privately owned Youm7  newspaper reported, with Al-Watan privately owned newspaper claiming four stations opened late in Al-Wasta and six in Beni Suef City.

A total of 51 candidates are competing for Damanhour City’s four parliamentary seats.

Meanwhile in the Governorate of Beni Suef, located just south of Giza, Governor Mohamed Selim told local media outlets he expects a voter turnout of over 30 percent in both the town of Al-Wasta and Beni Suef City, despite what would appear to indicate otherwise.

“Complete silence at polling stations in Beni Suef City,” reported Youm7, posting photos of abandoned polling stations.

A total of 35 candidates are competing for Beni Suef City’s three parliamentary seats, while 21 candidates are competing for Al-Wasta’s two seats.

The state-owned Middle East News Agency (MENA) reported that elections in Beheira and Beni Suef took place without incident or complications, praising the police, Armed Forces and judges for overseeing the process.

Voter turnout was also reportedly low in Raml district in Alexandria, with some news outlets suggesting numbers slightly increased in the evening on Sunday.

The mouthpiece of the liberal Al-Wafd Party reported the low turnout angered campaigners and candidates.

Elections monitors reported campaigning from loud speakers on vehicles, the bussing-in of voters for certain candidates and the posting of banners in close proximity to polling stations in Raml district, in clear violation of electoral regulations, Youm 7 reported.

A total of 67 candidates are competing in Raml district for four parliamentary seats.

According to results announced by the High Elections Commission on Friday, the combined turnouts of the first and second phases of nationwide parliamentary elections across Egypt’s 27 governorates was 28.3 percent.

This figure excludes the four circuits with re-runs, in which 174 candidates are competing for 13 seats.

From a total of 596 parliamentary seats, 448 seats are allocated to individual candidates, another 120 are allocated to those elected in a winner-takes all list system — all of which have been claimed by the pro-government list For the Love of Egypt. Another 28 parliamentarians are to be appointed by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.