Egypt says 30 percent turnout in 2nd round of voting

AP News
Posted: Nov 25, 2015 3:28 PM
Egypt says 30 percent turnout in 2nd round of voting

CAIRO (AP) — Turnout in the second round of Egypt's parliamentary elections was nearly 30 percent, authorities said Wednesday, with the vote expected to result in a rubber-stamp body loyal to President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.

"For the Love of Egypt" pro-government candidates won all 60 seats designated for lists, the High Elections Committee said. Most of the 596 seats in the chamber are reserved for independent candidates, but virtually all candidates support el-Sissi.

The voting on Sunday and Monday was held in 13 of Egypt's 27 provinces, including Cairo. The first round, held last month, had a nearly 27 percent turnout. Runoff elections will be held on Dec. 1-2, and results will be announced Dec. 3-4. Parliament is set to hold its inaugural session later that month.

The turnout was considerably lower than most elections held after the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak, when long lines could be seen stretching outside of polling stations.

Political apathy has set in during the two years since el-Sissi, a former general, led the military's overthrow of the Islamist Mohammed Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected leader, amid mass protests against his turbulent year in power. El-Sissi was elected last year.

Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, which swept elections following Mubarak's ouster, is now banned and officially branded a terrorist group. The government has waged a sweeping crackdown on Morsi's supporters and effectively banned any kind of anti-government demonstrations.

Egypt has not had a parliament since a court ruling dissolved an Islamist-dominated legislature in 2012.