Polling stations closed nationwide in Egypt on Wednesday at 9 pm, wrapping up the two-day Senate elections that began on Tuesday amid strict precautionary measures against the coronavirus pandemic.
The head of the National Elections Authority (NEA), Lashin Ibrahim, said the second day of voting passed smoothly without any reported violations that would affect the electoral process.
The turnout on the second day was moderate, according to live footage by satellite TV channels throughout the day, similar to a light to moderate turnout on the first day as soaring temperatures dropped.
Ibrahim said the vote-counting will be held inside sub-committees, with the headcount of each committee sent to general committees to announce the final headcount for each district’s polling stations nationwide.
The committees are then tasked with sending a headcount with the number of registered voters, casted ballots, the number of correct and void votes and votes garnered by each candidate to the NEA.
The vote-counting is held inside every sub-committee, with independent system and closed-list electoral cards counted separately.
The ballots are ready to be counted after the second of two days of voting in elections for the new Senate body ended on Wednesday evening August 12,2020 (REUTERS)
The results of the first round of the Senate Elections are set be announced on 19 August by the NEA.
A run-off round will take place in September.
Around 63 million Egyptians from the country's population of more than 100 million people are eligible to cast ballots.
The two-day vote for the second chamber of parliament was held at some 14,000 polling stations across the country under the supervision of around 18,000 judges assisted by 120,000 clerks.
The elections were held under strict preventive measures against the pandemic, as the NEA said masks must be worn with social distancing maintained inside polling stations.
A total of 787 candidates have been vying for seats in the new legislative body, which is to be set up as part of constitutional amendments approved last year. Voting for Egyptians living abroad took place in 124 countries on Sunday and Monday.
The Senate, whose term is set at five years, will have 300 members.
Two-thirds of the members are elected via the individual candidacy and the closed party list systems, and the rest will be appointed by the president. Women will hold a quota of at least 25 percent of the seats in the chamber.
The polls are expected to be swept by the pro-government Mostaqbal Watan (the Future of Homeland) party, which fielded the largest number of candidates. A list led by the party will seek 100 seats allocated to party lists uncontested. Mostaqbal Watan has 59 candidates on this list.
Another 100 individual seats will be up for grabs, of which 95 will be contested by Mostaqbal Watan candidates.
The ballots taken out of the ballots boxes to begin the counting process (REUTERS)
Election officials while preparing vote tally templates (REUTERS)