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Uncertainty surrounds the fate of Egypt’s local elections

Image of a voting booth in Egypt [File photo]
Image of a voting booth in Egypt [File photo]

Egypt’s municipal elections are likely to be postponed despite the allocation of an estimated one billion Egyptian pounds (EGP) of the national budget for the fiscal year 2017/2018.

A number of Egyptian political forces have expressed doubts about whether the elections will be held during this period, especially in light of a political and security tendency towards their postponement until the presidential elections are held in June 2018.

The position of the Egyptian parliament, which is in charge of passing legislation including the law of local elections, favours the view that the elections would not be held in the near future. The local elections law is itself still a source of controversy and disagreement either among members of the House of Representatives, particularly the members of the Local Administration Committee, or between parties and political forces.

The most glaring disagreements include the form of elections, for lists and individuals, or the percentage of workers and peasants that are stipulated in the constitution. In fact, a number of political forces objected to the usage of these terms since there is a specific definition for the worker, meaning a person who does not have an average qualification.

These new developments coincide with constant statements on the part of officials, whether in the current or previous government; that the elections will take place within months. Since these statements were initially made in 2014, the fate of the elections is still unclear, according to the Egyptian electronic newspaper El-Badil.

A number of election experts believe that one billion EGP is an average amount when compared to the last parliamentary elections, which was held in October 2015 at a cost of 1.6 billion EGP, as announced by the Higher Committee for Elections. Besides, the number of candidates will be double the number of candidates for parliamentary elections because it is expected that the number will reach 100,000 candidates country-wide.

 

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