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Turnout for Egypt parliamentary elections just 28%

November 2, 2020 at 1:55 pm

Egyptians, mask-clad due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, queue up outside a polling station on August 11, 2020 for a new senate in an upper house election. [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images]

Turnout for Egypt’s parliamentary elections stood at just 28.06 per cent, authorities announced on Sunday, a reflection of voter apathy amid extreme political repression in the country.

The election in October was considered a foregone conclusion with the 598 seats dominated by General Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s supporters.

The commission announced that at least one million of the 9.07 million votes that were cast were invalid, but did not give a reason why.

As Egyptians headed to the polls, the government asked 45,000 charities across the country to provide buses to transport at least 100 voters to polling booths amid allegations of corruption and voter fraud.

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The Nation’s Future Party (NFP), which backs Al-Sisi, requested lists of poor people who receive benefits from these charities and took pictures of their identity cards leading commentators to suspect they would use them to forge the elections.

Turnout was slightly up from August’s senate elections, where only 14.23 per cent of people turned up to vote.

Following the House of Representative elections Egyptian authorities threatened to refer 54 million people to prosecutors for not turning up.

At the end of July several parties signed a statement announcing that they would boycott the elections due to the impossibility that they would be free and fair and instead would be engineered to ensure the success of the NFP.

A prominent MP and a lawyer close to the government both revealed that the government was selling parliament seats for extortionate prices.