Egyptians show low turnout in parliamentary election

Egyptian youth who make majority of Egypt population were virtually absent at voting

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A woman casts her vote during parliamentary elections at a voting centre in Giza governorate, Egypt.

Updated Oct 20, 2015

Egyptians turned out in low numbers on Sunday to vote parliament members for the first time after President Abdel Fattah al Sisi took over power and set the parliamentary election, but shunned by critics of toppling Egypt's first freely-elected president in 2013.

Since June 2012, Egypt has no parliament following a court decision to dissolve the democratically-elected main Chamber, which was dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood.

Polling stations showed low turnout compared to last parliamentary election in 2012.

Young Egyptians boycotting the recent election were pessimistic.

Ahmed Mostafa, 25, who works in a lab said, "It’s not going to matter. It’s just for show, to show that we are a democracy, and we have elections, and blah blah blah any nonsense.”

“Most people in our generation feel the same way: that all of this is a show."

Ahmed Ibrahim, a 34-year-old accountant also said, "The youth in Egypt, our ambition in 2011, we were going to build the country – but then suddenly it was stolen from us."

"Ninety-nine percent of my friends are not going to vote."

In Gezirat al Dahab, a working-class Cairo neighbourhood, a security officer said only 10 percent of the registered voters had taken part.

On the Egyptian constitution, the parliament has legitimacy to impeach either a prime minister or the president. However, with many of the Muslim Brotherhood as well as former parliamentary members behind the bars, critics doubt the parliament can efficiently provide checks and balances.

"The election is a farce. I don't think anyone in Egypt is taking it seriously," said a Muslim Brotherhood official, Wafaa Hefny.

"These elections will result in illegitimate institutions and we will never participate in such elections," said senior Brotherhood member Mohamed Soudan.

Egyptian voters absent in second day of election 

Egyptians showed a low turnout at the ballot box for a second day on Monday in what one newspaper called "an election without voters," highlighting aberration since President Sisi took power in 2013 and promised to "restore democracy."

Egyptians youths who make up the majority of the population were virtually not at the polling station, with many of them expressing doubts that new lawmakers would change anything.

In 2013, then-Army Chief Sisi toppled Egypt's first freely-elected president, the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Mursi, and promised a "roadmap to democracy."

Last year's presidential election was postponed for a third day, an attempt to condone high turnout, with pro-government media persuading Egyptians to show up. President Sisi won 97 percent of votes. 


TRTWorld and agencies