Amid widening polarisation between Islamist and liberal currents, Egyptians will begin voting in the second round of the country’s first post-Mubarak parliamentary polls on Wednesday.
The second round will cover nine out of Egypt’s 27 governorates, including Giza, Sohag, Beni Suef, Aswan, Sharqiya, Menoufiya, Beheira, Ismailiya and Suez.
The second round will see the election of 120 MPs via a proportional list voting system in 15 electoral districts, along with another 60 MPs through an individual candidacy voting system in 30 electoral districts.
Voters will go to the polls on Wednesday and Thursday from 8am to 7pm.
To avoid the electoral violations seen in the first round, the head of Egypt’s ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, Field-Marshal Hussein Tantawi, has said that security measures would be stepped up during this week’s balloting. At a meeting on Monday with interior ministry officials, Tantawi reportedly discussed procedures aimed at ensuring a smooth voting process.
The Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), for its part, has expressed confidence that it would maintain its winning streak in the second round. The FJP, the political arm of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, won 37 per cent of the vote in the first round amid unprecedentedly high voter turnout.
The liberal Egyptian Bloc, meanwhile, also said it hoped to do better in the second round due to improved coordination and support for its candidates. The bloc came in a distant third behind the FJP and the Salafist Nour Party in the first round of voting.