Poor turnout in the Shura elections

29-01-2012 05:11 PM

Nasser Sobhy


In the first stage of elections for the Shura (Consultative) Council, the upper house of Egypt’s parliament, which are being held throughout two days (29 and 30 January), the scene appears as if no elections are being held today

In the first stage of elections for the Shura (Consultative) Council, the upper house of Egypt’s parliament, which are being held throughout two days (29 and 30 January), the scene appears as if no elections are being held today; the constituencies are empty except of employees. 
Contrary to the first day of the elections of People##s Assembly, the lower house of parliament, which had witnessed the unprecedentedly high turnout, with voters standing in long line to cast their ballots, the weak attendance in the Shura first day of elections reflects voter lack of interest.
Violations, however, are the same as those that took place during the People’s Assembly elections. A number of balloting stations in Cairo, Alexandria, Qena, Assiut, and North Sinai opened hours later than the scheduled opening time of 8:00am. The reasons are the same as well; the judges arrived late, the balloting forms were brought in late, and there were no enough administrators for the balloting to start. 
Despite the scarcity of voters, and even though it is illegal to conduct any campaigning inside or outside the balloting stations, supporters of the Muslim Brotherhoods Freedom and Justice Party, and the Salafi al-Nour Pary aggressively campaigned for their candidates.  
Watani’s photographer captured the shot of balloting station with no voters around.
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