Parliamentary elections marathon completed, with a few stragglers

The marathon three-part elections for Egypt’s People’s Assembly, the lower house of the Egyptian parliament, came to a conclusion on Wednesday, with the closure of polling stations after run-offs for the third phase.

The third round of elections was held in eight Egyptian governorates, namely Qalyubiya, Gharbiya, Daqahlia, North Sinai, Marsa Matrouh, Minya, New Valley and Qena. Turnout for the run-offs was reportedly low.

Five governorates saw re-runs in some constituencies, where judicial rulings had annulled voting results or halted the process, according to Abdel Moez Ibrahim, head of the High Judicial Elections Commission.

However, several constituencies are still waiting to complete the voting process. In accordance with a court ruling, elections for individual candidates in Daqahlia are to be held again, although the commission did not specify a certain date yet.

The list-based and individual elections of South Sinai, as well as the individual elections of Qena, will be held on 14 and 15 January, with the run-offs on 17 and 18 January, after a ruling by the administrative court invalidated them.

On Wednesday, eye-witnesses pointed to an extremely low turnout by voters, also highlighting continuing electoral violations.

The Salafi-oriented Nour Party and the Freedom and Justice Party, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, exchanged accusations of violating the rules on campaigning and directing voters, and the army succeeded in containing a brawl between their supporters in New Valley Governorate.

“The Nour Party used megaphones to direct voters to choose its candidates,” said Khaled Azqal of the Freedom and Justice Party, who filed a complaint with the attorney general to this effect, supported by video clips and pictures. The attorney general ordered an investigation.

In Gharibya, the early hours of polling also saw a low turnout by voters due to the cold weather and the university mid-term exams.

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