Islamists on the march in 2nd day of Egypt's electoral runoffs

Ahram Online, Tuesday 6 Dec 2011

Amidst voter turnout lower than first shot at ballots last week, Salafists and Muslim Brotherhood competed for many of the same 52 remaining single-seats leaving liberals marginalised

parliamentary run-off election
A woman casts her vote during the first day of the parliamentary run-off election in Cairo (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt’s polling stations witnessed very low turnout on the second day of the electoral runoffs Tuesday.

The runoffs have taken place in 27 constituencies across the 9 governorates that voted in the first stage of the three-phase elections, which began on 28 November.

The governorates include Cairo, Alexandria, Assiut, Damietta, Kafr El-Sheikh, Port Said, Fayoum, the Red Sea and Luxor where 104 candidates will compete for the remaining 52 singles-seats.

In the first round of elections, the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), took 40 per cent of the vote outright.

Salafists ranked number two and a conglomeration of liberal parties, the Egyptian Bloc, third.

In the runoff for the remaining seats, liberals are throwing their weight in a last-ditch effort to gain a few seats; however the majority of the remaining seats will most likely go to Islamists.

The Muslim Brotherhood,s FJP is running for 48 out of the 52 runoff singles-seats, with Salafists in tight competition with the FJP for many of those same seats.

Voter turnout in the runoffs has been much lower than in the first trip to the ballots in this phase of the parliamentary elections last week.

Monday evening, the Supreme Electoral Committee (SEC) annulled the runoff election in El Sahel district in Cairo due to counting irregularities. The new vote in the district is rescheduled for 10 and 11 January.

The second and last day of the runoff election round received minimal turnout, similar to the day prior. Voting in the runoff stage officially ended Tuesday at 7pm.

Second election phase will take place on 14 and 15 December in the governorates of Giza, Beni-Soueif, Monoufeya, Sharqiya, Ismailia, Suez, Beheira, Souhag and Aswan.

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