The second day of the second phase of parliamentary elections concluded Monday in 13 governorates, including the capital city of Cairo.
Although there are no official records yet of voter turnout, there seems to be a slight increase in comparison with the first phase in some areas, but still generally low.
For Egyptians abroad, an estimated 37,000 voters cast their ballots, according to official data, compared to nearly 30,000 in the first phase.
In polling stations at four schools in the districts of Zamalek, Garden City and downtown Cairo, judges reported that between 300 and 350 people cast their ballots during Sunday and the first half of Monday, up to 1pm. Each polling station represented an average of 2,000 registered voters.
Reporters on the ground said those in charge of the electoral process were trying to portray a better image of the situation, notably by not allowing photographs to be taken in some areas. The complaint was shared by several journalists at Monday’s midday press conference held by the Supreme Electoral Commission (SEC).
SEC spokesperson Omar Marwan said judges were authorised to allow or ban photography, according to their opinion on how it would affect the voting process. However, security personnel were responsible for most reported incidents.
The Journalists Against Torture Observatory (JATO) reported various incidents in which journalists were prevented from covering the elections by security forces. Violations committed by candidates and their supporters continued, as Marwan announced 75 complaints received by the SEC on the second day.
Political parties have also complained about the attitude of their competitors, both in buying votes and illegal campaigning. But other procedural complaints emerged as some polling stations in Cairo reportedly did not have enough voting cards and phosphoric ink, or had only one ballot box for both individual and list candidates.
This comes as the electoral competition intensified between the electoral list of the Republican Alliance, led by Tahani Al-Gebali, and various figures representing the For the Love of Egypt list, such as Sameh Seif El-Yazal and Ossama Heikal.
Al-Gebali held a sudden press conference on Monday noon to make a
“serious announcement”. In the conference, she claimed that the key figures of For the Love of Egypt list had “suspicious ties to Muslim Brotherhood funders and supporters”.
Al-Gebali further displayed images of Seif El-Yazal and Heikal with public figures in Kuwait, a visit that had formerly been announced by Seif El-Yazal for campaigning purposes. She accused the members of the list of “high treason” and “plotting for reconciliation”.
However, she was criticised by several journalists present, with one suggesting she was making “futile efforts” because her electoral list was not gaining votes in the elections.
Other journalists asked her why she was sharing such information with the public instead of National Security, to which Al-Gebali responded by stating that people had a right to know. She said she would file an official complaint with the Prosecutor General and the SEC.
Moreover, Al-Gebali did not directly respond to Daily News Egypt’s question regarding her stance if state leaders decided on reconciliation with the Muslim Brotherhood. Instead, she said that “any form of reconciliation with the traitors will be faced by the will of the people, which has become more aware of the organisation’s crimes”.