Egyptian expatriates are voting in the run-off round of Senate elections on Sunday and Monday.
The polls will be held in Egypt on Tuesday and Wednesday. The run-offs will be limited to 14 of Egypt's 27 governorates: Qalioubiya, Damietta, Kafr El-Sheikh, Menoufiya, Beni Suef, Qena, Sohag, Luxor, Aswan, Giza, Assiut, Matrouh, Port Said, and Ismailia.
In the first round the pro-government Mostaqbal Watan (Future of Homeland) Party won 118 (around 60 per cent) out of the 200 contested seats. The National Election Authority (NEA) said the Mostaqbal Watan won 68 individual seats and 50 party list seats.
"In the run-off round 52 candidates will compete, of whom 24 are affiliated with the Mostaqbal Watan, four with the Islamist Nour Party, three with the Guardians of the Nation Party, two with the People's Republican Party, one with the Congress Party, one with the National Movement Party, and one with the Ittihad (union) Party," said the NEA's statement.
Hossam El-Khouli, deputy chairman of Mostaqbal Watan, said in a TV interview on Sunday that the party won 60 per cent of the contested seats in the first round. "Of the 74 individual candidates who won seats in the first round, we won 68 seats, and as for the 100-candidate National Unified List which contested the party list seats, 50 candidates are affiliated to our party.
" This means we won 118 seats in the first round, and in the run-off round we have the largest number of candidates: 24 out of the total 52 candidates. We hope to gain at least 80 per cent of the contested seats."
Amr Hashem Rabie, an Al-Ahram political analyst, said the Mostaqbal Watan's win in the first round was relatively easy. "It was almost known in advance the National Unified List led by Mostaqbal Watan would win the 100 party list seats that were up for grabs because it was standing unopposed," said Rabie, adding that "the Mostaqbal Watan placed 50 candidates on the National Unified List and won all its seats. Regarding the 100 contested individual seats, Mostaqbal Watan gave a good performance, winning 68 seats. Since it has the largest number of candidates in the run-offs, it is expected to make a second win, albeit not as easy as in the first round," said Rabie.
In the first round Mostaqbal Watan won all the individual seats in nine governorates: Daqahliya, Fayoum, Minya, Beheira, Sharqiya, New Valley, Suez and North and South Sinai. It also won the majority of individual seats in the governorates of Cairo, Qalioubiya, Gharbiya, Giza, Beni Suef, and Alexandria.
In the second round, scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, the 24 Mostaqbal Watan candidates will face fierce battles in 14 governorates.
In Qalioubiya, Mostaqbal Watan candidate Abu Serie Imam faces an uphill battle against independent candidate Khaled Irman. In Damietta, another fierce battle is raging between Mostaqbal Watan's Ahmed El-Balshi and National Movement Party candidate Hamdi Shalabi.
In Kafr El-Sheikh, four candidates affiliated to the Islamist Nour Party are pitted against Mostaqbal Watan candidates. In Sohag and Qena, Mostaqbal Watan candidates seek to gain three seats up for grabs in these two Upper Egypt governorates. The party will also face competition from independent candidates in the governorates of Assiut, Beni Suef, Giza, Port Said, Ismailia, Luxor, and Aswan.
The result of the run-offs will be announced on 16 September, after which the president will appoint 100 members in the 300-seat Senate.