HEC to accept applications for Egypt parliament candidacy starting 8 February

Ahram Online , Thursday 29 Jan 2015

A man casts his vote at a polling station in Shubra in El-Kalubia, on the outskirts of Cairo January 3, 2012 (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's Higher Electoral Commission announced on Thursday that it will start accepting applications for parliamentary candidacies on 8 February.

Parliamentary elections will take place in two stages in March and April.

The first stage of the vote will take place 21-22 March for expats and 22-23 for residents in Egypt, while the second stage will take place 25-26 April for expats and 26-27 April for Egypt residents.

Electoral campaigning for the first stage is scheduled to start on 26 Februrary and end 20 March. For the second stage of elections, electoral campaigning to start 3 April and end 24 April.

An estimated 54 million Egyptians are registered as eligible voters in the coming poll.

The House of Representatives will be comprised of 567 seats, of which 420 will be elected as individual candidacy system and 120 through the winner-take-all (absolute closed) party lists.

Five percent of these seats (27) will be appointed by the president upon recommendations from respective state councils and professional syndicates.

This will be the second parliamentary elections since the 2011 uprising against former autocrat Hosni Mubarak and the first since the ouster of Islamist Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

Islamists won a majority of seats in the 2011-2012 parliamentary elections.

The 2011-2012 parliament was dissolved in June 2012 upon a court order which deemed the elections law unconstitutional. 

A number of political parties have voiced opposition to the individual candidacy system, saying it opens doors for clan fanaticism and allows wealthy businessmen and influential local figures to run as independents using local patronage networks to influence votes.

They fear the system, which was previously imposed under Mubarak, will allow old regime cronies to regain leverage.

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