Low turnout in Egypt's long delayed elections

Low turnout in Egypt's long delayed elections
Only 3.6 percent of those eligible to vote turned out to cast their ballot in Egypt's first legislative elections since parliament was dissolved by a court ruling in 2012.
2 min read
21 October, 2015
One percent of people under the age of 30 voted, according to Takamul Masr [Getty]
An independent research organisation has said the turnout in the first two-day round of voting in the Egyptian parliamentary elections was a mere 3.6 percent, with the vast majority of voters being elderly women.

Takamul Masr released a statement on social media that said only around 989,000 voters had cast their ballots in the 14 governorates taking part in the first round and that 85 percent of voters were over the age of 50.

The monitoring organisation also said that one percent of eligible voters under the age of 30 participated and that 78 percent of voters were women.

The head of the the High Elections Committee [HEC], Ayman Abbas, said on Wednesday evening that the turnout in the first stage of parliamentary elections reached 26.5 percent.

A sharp drop from 62 percent registered in the first stage of the last parliamentary poll, held in 2011 months after the ouster of longtime president Hosni Mubarak.

See Also: Photo gallery: Alexandrians vote in parliamentary elections

Local media has reported that the "For the Love of Egypt" coalition, which includes leading businessmen and former members of the disbanded National Democratic Party, has already won 60 seats in the upcoming chamber.

The outcome for Egypt's sole remaining Islamist party, the al-Nour Party, which came in second place in the 2011 elections, has not look good.

Al-Araby al-Jadeed's Arabic service has reported that the salafi party did not fare well in the voting in the coastal city of Alexandria - a stronghold of party in the last elections.

The voting has been marred with reports of electoral violations throughout the country.

The Egyptian Coalition for Election Monitoring [ECEM] said that campaigners handed out cash and cannabis as bribes to voters in Giza province, according to al-Araby al-Jadeed's Arabic service.

In Alexandria where the highest number of violations were reported, the ECEM said that some candidates gave out 400 Egyptian pounds ($50) to voters in exchange for their votes.

The second phase of voting will kick off on November 21 for Egyptians living abroad and the 22nd for Egyptian residents.

The poor showing at polls, in particular among young people, to choose Egypt's new parliament has prompted much sarcasm and mockery on social media.