Egypt holds elections for newly created senate

By Francesca Cicardi

Cairo, Aug 11 (efe-epa).- Egyptians were called to the polls on Tuesday and Wednesday to elect members of the country’s newly created senate.Elections for Egypt’s second house of parliament came seven years after it was dissolved, with a third of its members appointed by President Abdul-Fattah al-Sisi.

Several of Cairo’s polling stations were nearly empty by noon on Tuesday, a few hours after the centers opened at 7 am GMT for more than 60 million eligible voters.

Groups of people were transported in private vehicles belonging to parties or candidates arrived at polling stations, as usual in Egypt.

On previous occasions, voters in similar cases have received compensation for their votes.

Security forces have been deployed to secure the polling stations and prevented Efe reporters from accessing two centers despite having the mandatory accreditation from the National Electoral Authority.

Citizens have been asked to vote for eight out of 73 individual candidates and one of the lists.

Candidates are pro-Sisi or figures close to the president after the few and diminutive opposition parties boycott the elections.

The senate will comprise of 300 seats, 100 of which will be picked by the president, 100 will be elected through political parties and another 100 from independent candidates who are not affiliated with any party.

Judge Khaled Amin, head of a polling station in Agouza, told Efe that the turnout will increase within the coming hours and will not be affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

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