Egypt's parliamentary polls open for last day of run-offs, cabinet designates half-day off

Ahram Online , Wednesday 28 Oct 2015

The Egyptian cabinet has designated Wednesday a half-day for state employees in an attempt to encourage voting

Egyptian soldiers help Abdel Moneam Kandil, 80, after he casts his vote at a polling station of the runoff to the first round of the parliamentary elections in Giza, just outside of Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015.(Photo: AP)

Egypt opened its polling stations to voters Wednesday at 9am for the last day in the run-offs of the first stage of parliamentary elections.

The first day in the run-offs has seen a relatively small turnout in Alexandria and other governorates compared to the first phase, in which the nationwide turnout was 26.5 percent, according to Egypt's High Elections Committee (HEC).

Meanwhile, Egypt's prime minister declared Wednesday a half day for state employees in an attempt to encourage voters to cast their ballots on the last day, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported.

Voting is taking place in 14 governorates: Alexandria, Giza, Minya, Assiut, Beni Suef, Marsa Matrouh, Qena, Luxor, Aswan, Beheira and Rea Sea, Fayoum, New Valley, and Sohag.

Public schools are closed for election run-offs in some of the constituencies of the 14 governorates.

Only four seats, out of 226 in 103 constituencies, were elected on an individual basis in the voting on 18-19 October.

The four candidates won outright, as they secured over 50 percent of the votes in their constituencies.

Ballots for 16 individual seats will be re-held after a court ruled the results void. The seats include four in Damanhour, seven in Alexandria, and five in Beni Suef.

The results were ruled invalid after the candidates were found to be ineligible to run.

The remaining 206 individual seats will be filled via the run-offs this week, with the two highest-polling candidates per seat competing for the most votes.

The 60 seats elected, according to electoral list candidates, have all been secured by "For the Love of Egypt" list with 45 seats in ‎Giza and Upper Egypt and 15 seats in West Delta constituencies.

The HEC announced late on Tuesday, before the polls closed, that almost 20,000 Egyptian expats had cast their votes up until that point. 

Tuesday was the last day for expats belonging to one of the fourteen governorates in the first round to cast their ballots. The expat results are expected before the end of the week.

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