We're ready to collect fines for non-voters if required: Egypt's local planning minister

Ahram Online , Monday 19 Oct 2015

Initial figures show that turnout on Sunday ranged between 11 to 15 percent, according to Minister Ahmed Zaki Badr

Elderly blind voter, Abdel Naby Abdel Baset Gomaa, 83, is assisted by election officials as he prepares to cast his vote during the final day of the first round of the Egyptian parliamentary elections, at a polling station in Giza, Cairo, Egypt, Monday, Oct. 19, 2015 (AP)

The Ministry of Local and Administrative Development will collect fines of non-voters if necessary, the minister said on Monday, the second day of the first stage in the parliamentary elections.

If the High Elections Committee decides that non-voters should be fined the mandated LE500, the ministry will collect the fines, Minister Ahmed Zaki Badr said on Monday.

Voters in 14 governorates are scheduled to vote on Sunday and Monday, with polls due to close at 9pm on Monday.

Reports suggest the turnout has been low; Badr said that an initial tally shows that turnout on Sunday ranged between 11 to 15 percent, Al-Ahram Arabic website reported.

Under Egyptian law, those who abstain from voting face a fine of LE500 (around $62). However, the penalty has never been imposed in previous elections.

Egyptians abroad cast their ballots on Saturday and Sunday in 139 consulates and embassies. Votes are currently being counted by embassy staff.

Egypt's parliament — the House of Representatives — ‎will be comprised of 596 members, 448 elected as independents ‎and 120 from party-based lists. The remaining 28 seats ‎will be filled by presidential appointees.


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