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Too many candidates, too little knowledge - Daily News Egypt

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Too many candidates, too little knowledge

Government ready, candidates mobilising, voters confused in Egypt’s parliamentary elections 2015

Egypt’s long awaited parliamentary elections are finally coming into realisation with the first day of elections, under wide local and international observation. Addressing the nation Saturday, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi said: “Line up in electoral committees and instill hope through your votes for a better tomorrow and a modern Egypt.”

The electoral silence period was announced on Friday, but did not seem to consider social media campaigning, as it’s harder to monitor and control. Therefore online, campaigns do not end, especially that they are also generated by volunteer supporters.


The race intensified between parliamentary candidates, especially on the level of closed-lists competition.

“Fi Hob Misr” list ran by Sameh Seif El-Yazal which has been promoting itself as the “state’s representative and a winner of parliamentary seats”, now awaits voters’ final say, whether in deciding not to go to the ballot or by defying the electoral group.


A Egyptian community representative in Saudi Arabia, Emam Youssef, told Daily News Egypt that Egyptians abroad have been following the events on satellite TV. Egyptians abroad began voting Saturday, but reports noted low voter turnout.


This came for various reasons ranging from personal disinterest, long distances to polling stations, but above all, extreme confusion in terms of procedures and candidates’ selection.


Although this is not the first elections in post-June 30, Youssed said that motivation was higher in the January constitutional referendum and May presidential elections, recalling how they mobilised for the elections and organised for buses to transfer voters.


On the other hand, Egyptian media has as well promoted the non-support for political Islam, namely the Salafist Al-Nour Party, accusing it of combining Muslim Brotherhood members and serving a radical religious agenda.

Several internal conflicts in the party also came to light one day ahead of the voting day, with party and Salafist leaders questioning each other’s loyalties and exchanging accusations between belonging the Brotherhood and on the other hand endorsing the state’s security bodies.

Although there is no apparent Brotherhood presence in parliamentary affairs, several anti-government protests demonstrated ahead of elections calling for its boycott or even against some candidates.

In contrast, Egypt’s diplomatic missions abroad, media and clerics, have called on people to participate in the elections, associating it with the goals of the roadmap announced following the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi.

“I therefore call on all Egyptians to head to polling stations and strongly rally once more to implement our last milestone, as it was agreed,” said Al-Sisi.

“I call on all of you, the men and women; the young and old, the farmers and labour across the nation to rally for the homeland. Celebrate your choices and choose your representatives well,” he continued. “Rally for the martyrs who sacrificed their souls for a country that befits us, for a child who awaits us to deliver him a promising future.”


Facing protests, bombs and other means of violence and sabotage, the army announced wide presence in all 14 governorates where the first phase of parliamentary elections is taking place on 18 and 19 October.

With over 180,000 military forces distributed, civil police of the interior ministry will be in charge of securing every polling station and its judges.


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