Egypt’s first round election turnout amounts to 21.7 percent

Egypt’s first round run-off of parliamentary election shows turnout of 21.7 percent, indicating people’s lack of interest towards elections with no opposition

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Ayman Abbas (C), head of the High Election Committee, speaks during a news conference in Cairo, Egypt, on August 30, 2015.

The first round run-off of Egypt’s parliamentary elections showed a turnout of 21.7 percent, as stated by the country’s High Elections Committee (HEC) on Friday, which clearly reflects the apathy of the Egyptians to vote in the absence of any sort of strong opposition.

The HEC head Ayman Abbas told a news conference that almost 5.6 million out of more than 27 million voters had cast their ballot in the run-offs, which was held on Tuesday and Wednesday, showing that it was even lower than the 26.6 per cent for the first round of counted votes on October 18 and 19 in which more than 27 million people across 14 of Egypt's 27 provinces were eligible to vote in the first phase.

Among those voters were more than 19,000-foreign based Egyptians in 139 countries.

"The turnout of these elections was not the lowest in Egypt's parliamentary elections history. This year's turnout in total was 26.69 percent while turnout in the parliamentary elections in 2005 was 23 percent. The turnout in the Shura council (Upper House) elections in 2012 was 12 percent," Abbas said.

"The highest turnout among the 14 governorates in this round was Matrouh (near the Libyan borders) with a turnout of 33.45 percent; while the lowest was Alexandria with a turnout of 14.83 percent," he added.

Nearly half of the parliament's 596 seats were filled by the first round.

The HEC stated on Friday that the "For the Love of Egypt" pro-government candidates had gained all 60 seats designated for lists.

The parliamentary elections is expected to strongly endorse President Abdel Fattah el Sisi, who has eliminated most of his opposition since the deposition of former President Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

Analysts reported that many of the more than 5,000 candidates in the polls who are expected to dominate the parliament, strongly support Sisi.

However, the current ongoing vote lacks any real opposition as the Muslim Brotherhood movement, that dominated the previous assembly, has been banned.

And it has not inspired any of the enthusiasm that was seen during the first post-Mubarak polls in 2011 - which saw a turnout of 62 percent - since the leftist and secular movements - those who led the 2011 uprising - are boycotting the polls for poor representation.

Following Sisi’s toppling of former President Morsi, Sisi issued a crackdown targeting the Muslim Brotherhood movement, leading to at least 1,400 dead and tens of thousands locked away.

November 22-23 will mark the country’s second round of elections across the remaining 13 provinces and if needed, a run-off will take place on December 1-2.

TRTWorld and agencies