File Photo: A security force member stands guard while people queue to cast their vote outside a center during the first round of Egypt's parliamentary elections in Giza, Egypt, October 24, 2020. REUTERS
The electoral list led by Egypt’s Mostaqbal Watan Party has swept up the majority of votes in the first stage of the country’s parliament elections, Lasheen Ibrahim, head of the National Elections Authority, said in a press conference on Sunday.
This stage in the elections covered districts in the Western Delta and Upper Egypt.
The turnout in the first stage was 28.06 percent, Ibrahim said, with the number of people casting their vote amounting to slightly more than 9 million out of 31.7 million eligible voters in the 14 governorates included in this phase.
About 1 million of the votes were invalid, he added.
The governorates of the first stage are Giza, Fayoum, Beni Suef, Minya, Assiut, El-Wadi El-Gedid, Sohag, Qena, Luxor, Aswan, the Red Sea, Alexandria, Beheira, and Matrouh. Voters in these governorates cast their ballots between 21 and 25 October.
A run-off for the first stage will be held from 21 to 23 November for Egyptian expats and on 23 and 24 November for voters inside the country, Ibrahim said.
The elections were held under full judicial supervision, in the presence of the candidates' representatives and deputies, Ibrahim said, adding that 56 local organisations, 14 foreign organisations and three human rights councils oversaw the vote.
“It was a competitive election… [that was held] in accordance with the highest standards of transparency and integrity,” Ibrahim stated.
He added that despite the coronavirus crisis, Egyptians were motivated to vote due to the preventive measures taken by authorities to protect citizens.
Some 1,861 candidates competed for the individual seats in the first phase, Ibrahim said, adding that 568 candidates and reserve candidates competed for the seats allocated for electoral lists.
The number of seats allocated for this stage is 284, with 142 seats for each of the individual and electoral list systems.
The voting was held in 71 general committees and as many as 10,240 secondary committees, Ibrahim added.
He added that the NEA received some complaints, which were resolved and did not affect the electoral process.
Ibrahim urged voters to “perform their national duty” and participate in the run-off and the next stage of the elections.
Ibrahim called on Egyptian to “participate in the elections and do not listen to anonymous or fake news or rumours,” which he said were being propagated by “the enemies of the nation,” who call for freedom and democracy “while they cannot be further away from freedom and democracy.”