The Egyptian government announced Wednesday half a day off for its employees to allow them to vote in the parliamentary elections runoff in 14 governorates of the first phase.
The same measurement was used in the first round of elections, after the first day showed low turnout in most governorates, possibly medium in a few governorates.
Local reporters submitted reports at the end of the day Tuesday from all governorates. According to a journalist speaking to Mehwer TV from the governorate of Beheira, one of the reasons behind empty polls is the alliances formed between candidates to endorse each other.
He explained that during voting hours, those candidates carefully mobilise their people according to agreements, after scrutinising the other party’s performance and commitment to the deal, which results in delaying voting to the last hours of the day.
In Beheira electoral bribes were as low as EGP 20, while in the first round it had reached EGP 200, and people were waiting before voting for the money.
In Alexandria, reporters quoted Judge Abdullah El-Khouly, heading the Supreme Electoral Commission (SEC), saying the turnout on the first day was of 5% to 6%.
In Minya, ONtv channel’s reporter said that women were highly engaged in the voting process, despite that none of the 18 female candidates made it to the second round.
In Assiut, Al-Hayat TV’s reporter said turnout was slightly above medium, saying that on average in every polling stations of nearly 2,000 registered voted, nearly 200 voters participated. He added that women and children were engaged in distributing candidates’ flyers to voters.
He added that members of candidates’ electoral campaigns were absent unlike the first round, explaining that citizens “do not feel elections will bring changes” and “have made their minds not to vote”.
Among the governorates with low participation rates were Luxor, Red Sea and Aswan. Reporters also confirmed disputes and clashes between supporters of different candidates, in addition to violations of electoral promotions in Giza’s constituencies of Agouza, Manshiet Al-Qanater and Talbiya.