Egypt holds runoffs for 1st-round Shura Council polls

Ahram Online, Tuesday 7 Feb 2012

One-day runoff elections for Egypt's consultative Shura Council began Tuesday morning amidst expectations of low turnout

Ballot boxes being carried in Alexandria during the latest parliamentary elections in Egypt (Photo: Reuters)

Runoff elections for the first round of polling for Egypt’s Shura Council (the upper, consultative house of parliament) will kick off Tuesday, according to the timetable set by the High Elections Commission.

The runoffs will wrap up by 7pm Tuesday, unlike recent elections for Egypt’s People's Assembly (the lower house of parliament), for which runoff polling lasted two days.

In the first round of the Shura Council vote, 25 million registered voters were eligible to choose from among 90 candidates. Estimates suggest, however, that total turnout did not exceed 10 per cent – much lower than the over 60 per cent turnout seen in People's Assembly elections late last year.

First-round Shura Council polling was held on 29 and 30 January in Cairo, Alexandria, Gharbiya, Daqahaliya, Menoufiya, Damietta, North Sinai, South Sinai, Fayoum, Assiut, Qena, the Red Sea and New Valley (Al-Wadi Al-Gedid).

As in the People’s Assembly elections, frontrunners in the Shura Council polls are the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, the Salafist Nour Party and the liberal Wafd Party.

Round two of Shura Council elections will begin on 14 February.

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