Egypt's Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab designated Tuesday a holiday for workers in the government sector in order to boost voter turnout in the presidential election, which started Monday. Mahlab also called on private businesses to also grant their employees a holiday so they can cast ballots.
Earlier in the first day of voting, the cabinet said it wouldn't declare Tuesday a holiday for public employees. However, officials later backtracked on their decision, attributing their change of heart to a popular demand to "give the opportunity to employees to participate in the election."
Many observers noted an uneven voter turnout nationwide on Monday.
Election days are usually national holidays in Egypt, which has witnessed at least six elections and referendums since the 25 January 2011 revolution.
More than 6 million Egyptians work as government employees.
Egypt's outgoing interim President Adly Mansour said in a statement on Sunday that the presidency was keeping an "equal distance" from both candidates and "has never and will never direct citizens towards a certain candidate."