CAIRO: So far 298 women candidates out of a total 5,470 have submitted applications to run in Egypt’s upcoming parliamentary elections, The High Elections Committee (HEC) announced Wednesday, Youm7 reported.
“The figures include both independent and party-list candidates,” said HEC’s spokesperson Omar Marawan adding that most candidates are between 41 and 50 years old.
The statement came hours before the deadline to declare candidacy, scheduled for Thursday at 7:00 p.m. The committee opened the registration window for candidates Feb. 8.
Until Tuesday, “the number of candidates that have applied reached 5,053 divided between 3,514 independent candidates and 1,439 candidates from political parties, including 312 women,” according to a Tuesday statement by the committee.
Since Egyptian women attained the right to political participation as voters and candidates in the 1956 constitution, their parliamentary representation has not not exceeded 2 percent with the exception of the periods when a quota system was introduced first in 1979 parliament elections and during Hosni Mubarak’s regime in the 1984 and 2010 parliaments.
In Egypt’s 2012 parliament following the January 25 Revolution, the number of female parliament members was less than 10, down from the 64 under Mubarak’s regime in 2010 parliament.
Egypt’s 2015 parliament will comprise of 567 seats: 420 to be elected as individuals and 120 through the winner-take-all party lists, with 27 seats to be appointed by the president.
In January, the HEC announced that the parliamentary election would be held in two phases: Egyptians in 14 of the country’s 27 governorates will go to the polls from March 22-23 with runoffs scheduled for April 1-2. Others in 13 governorates will vote April 26-27 with runoffs from May 6-7.
The Democratic Current; a coalition including six secular political parties and prominent political figures announced earlier this month it would boycott the 2015 parliament elections citing an “undemocratic environment for participating electoral democracy,” according to al-Wafd.