Mostaqbal Watan Party secures majority in Egypt's Senate elections

Mohamed Soliman , Wednesday 19 Aug 2020

Nominees who failed to obtain the necessary absolute majority for the remaining 26 seats are to go to a run-off in September

Senate elections

A pro-government coalition led by the Mostaqbal Watan Party has secured a landslide victory in Egypt’s Senate elections, claiming, along with its allies, the majority in the newly reconstituted 300-seat council, the National Elections Authority (NEA) announced on Wednesday.

Amid protective measures against the coronavirus pandemic, Egyptians cast their ballots from 9 to 12 August to choose their representatives in the new chamber, whose members are chosen via the individual candidacy, the closed party list system, and presidential appointment.

One-hundred-and-seventy-four senators, representing different constituencies countrywide, have been officially named after receiving the absolute majority of votes during the first round of elections, while 26 seats are still up for grabs in a run-off in September, head of NEA Lashin Ibrahim told a press conference.

Ibrahim said that 8.95 million out of 62.94 million eligible voters cast their ballots during the four-day long voting period, a total turnout of 14.23 percent.

Valid votes were recorded at 7.5 million, 84.58 percent of the total turnout, and the invalid ballots numbered 1.38 million, 15.42 percent, he added.

A total of 797 candidates competed for the 100 individual seats of the upper chamber, while one list ran unopposed for the 100 seats reserved for party lists.

The 100 seats allocated for party lists in the Senate were won unopposed by the 11-party National Unified List, led by the Mostaqbal Watan Party (Future of the Homeland), after meeting the 5 percent threshold necessary to be declared the winner, according to the NEC.

Mostaqbal Watan has 59 candidates on this list, while 10 other parties have the rest.

Another 74 individual seats were won during the first round of elections, including 68 candidates from Mostaqbal Watan according to a statement by the party.

The remaining 26 seats, whose nominees failed to obtain the necessary absolute majority, are to go to a run-off in September, said NEA head Ibrahim.

The undecided 26 seats are distributed over 14 governorates: Qalioubiya, Menoufia, Kafr El-Sheikh, Giza, Beni Suef, Assiut, Sohag, Qena, Luxor, Aswan, Damietta, Port Said, Ismailia, and Marsa Matrouh.

The run-off election will be held on 6-7 September for Egyptians abroad and on 8-9 September for resident nationals.

The final result is set to be announced on 16 September.

Ibrahim noted that the first round of voting was supervised by judges and the polls were monitored by the media and civil society organisations.

The NEA received 49 appeals, but all of them were rejected, Ibrahim said.

He assured that the voting process went regularly at all polling centres, but some stations saw a delay in opening as some of the supervisory judges arrived late.

The NEA received some complaints but found that they did not affect the regularity of the election process, he added.

The Senate, which was created in accordance with constitutional amendments approved last year, will act as an advisory chamber to the House of Representatives. It will be in place of the Shura Council, an upper house of parliament that was dissolved in 2014.

The first session of the new council, where the senators are required to be sworn in, is set to be held in October. The first five-year term of the Senate will end in 2025.  

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