Cairo, Oct 24 (efe-epa)- Egypt began the two-phase, one-and-a-half month process of parliamentary elections on Saturday with the vast majority of the candidates allied to President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi.
A total of 63 million people are called to cast their ballots during the process, which concludes in early December, but the turnout is expected to be low amid an atmosphere of apathy regarding the elections as well as coronavirus-related precautionary measures.
Over this weekend, elections are held in 14 of Egypt’s 27 provinces — with 33 million eligible voters — while the rest of the provinces, including Cairo, will be able to vote between 7 and 8 November.
Some 4,000 candidates are running for the seats allocated for the individuals, while eight parties are competing for the list seats, totaling 568.
Al-Sisi will name 28 lawmakers, which represents 5 percent of the total number, as per the constitutional amendments approved by a referendum in April 2019. Some 25 percent of the seats must be allocated to women.
The actual parliament is mainly comprised of independent and pro-Sisi lawmakers, a situation that is most likely to continue.
In the 2015 legislative elections turnout stood at 28 percent, while in the Senate elections held in August it barely reached 14.2 percent, despite threats of fines of 500 Egyptian pounds ( about $ 32) for who does not vote.
A series of precautionary measures have been established in the voting centers, such as the use of masks and the safety distance, to prevent the spread of COVID-19. EFE