CAIRO: On the second day of presidential elections, two liberal-oriented parties reported on election turnout, violations and other aspects their monitors observed Tuesday.
In its first report for the second election day, the Free Egyptians Party said that in general, turnout increased in some polling stations and decreased in others, according to a report available on its official Facebook page.
The report was released at 4 p.m. and counted 1,700 voters in five polling stations in downtown Cairo and lower turnout rates in Ain Shams and Heliopolis.
In the governorates, the report said the turnout was generally low in Menoufia, despite an increased turnout for women in some polling stations. For Minya, turnout was estimated to be between 12 and 15 percent of eligible voters.
Low turnout was reported as well in Sohag and Port Said, while in one polling station in Asyut there were 2,600 voters. The numbers in the report represent the time period from 9 a.m. until just before 4 p.m.
Around 10 p.m., the party said turnout in Ismailia reached 50 percent of eligible voters.
Meanwhile, non-local voters faced problems in Giza, and complaints about lack of organization in Alexandria. Additionally, a judge in one of the polling stations in Alexandria dismissed a member of Hamdeen Sabbahi’s campaign for allegedly trying to influence voters, the report added.
“Participation is influenced by several factors,” party member Antoniuo Daniel told The Cairo Post Tuesday. He explained that the hot weather was a major cause for low turnout in the morning, but later in the afternoon voters increased.
“Some people went to vote fearing the penalty imposed by the government of 500 EGP ($70) for not voting,” Daniel added.
In some governorates like Luxor, participation was at 60 percent of eligible voters, but in others such as Fayoum, turnout barely reached 20 percent, which Daniel believes was due to the strong presence of the Muslim Brotherhood there.
“We expect a turnout not less than 25 million, and maybe more than 30 million voters,” Daniel said regarding total national turnout.
“Among the party’s priorities is finding a solution to the problems faced by non-locals to avoid wasting the right to vote for more than 6 million people,” he added.
To vote, citizens must have registered previously in the governorate in which they intend to cast their vote. This means that for large numbers of Egyptians working and living outside their place of birth, they must travel back to their hometown to vote if they had not previously registered elsewhere.
The Egyptian Social Democratic Party (ESDP) has been providing more details on its page. On Tuesday morning, the party reported that turnout was higher Monday, mainly in Cairo and Giza, which it attributed to the fact that the government gave its employees Tuesday off.
But on Tuesday the ESDP reported voting in Cairo barely reached 20 to 25 percent of eligible voters amid a reduced security presence in the streets. The party released this information at about 3 p.m.
Around noon, the party reported from North Sinai that random gunfire had scared people off at a polling station, but the army said nothing major was going on and encouraged people to vote. Also, a judge in a polling station in Sheikh Zuweid in North Sinai was replaced after directing people towards a specific candidate.
In Asyut, the party reported a relatively high turnout Tuesday, yet one generally lower than the first day and lower than monitors’ expectations. In one polling station in the town of Bouet, 600 people voted in the first two hours of the morning and turnout reached 1,870 voters by 11 a.m. compared to 1,270 out of a total of 4,577 in the same polling station on Monday.
Despite lower turnout than the first day, the party reported in Suez that out of 402,000 eligible voters, 66,000 of them voted on Monday, and 22,000 on Tuesday. In Sharqia, turnout went from 1,700 voters on the first day to 500 for the second day. In Minya, the party reported Tuesday that the turnout was higher than Monday and that there were no promotions for any of the candidates.
In Marsa Matrouh, Red Sea and Sohag, the ESDP said turnout remained extremely low. For Menoufia, the party reported that turnout was higher than the first day but did not exceed 15 percent of eligible voters, the report stated around 4 p.m.
The party also said the Salafist Nour Party was promoting presidential candidate Abdel Fatah al-Sisi. In Asyut, the party said that a Salafist member tried to make copies of the voting form but was caught by the judge in charge of the polling station.
ESDP head Mohamed Abu el-Ghar published an article in Al-Masry Al-Youm Tuesday saying that members of the so-called “Couch party”—for their lack of political involvement—had actually turned out in large numbers to support Sisi.
ESDP Secretary General Helal Abdel Hamid stated that in some governorates, the presence of former members of the dissolved National Democratic Party of previous President Hosni Mubarak at the polling stations had a negative impact on turnout.
The High Presidential Elections Commission (HPEC) has not yet issued any official election results as voting has been extended until Wednesday at 9 p.m.