Egypt mulls declaring Monday public holiday to encourage higher turnout
The Local Administrative Development Minister Ahmed Zaki Badr - YOUM7

CAIRO: The Local Administrative Development Minister Ahmed Zaki Badr is considering declaring Monday national holiday in an attempt to encourage a higher turnout in the final day of the parliament election first phase, Youm7 reported.

The statement came after a request made by the governor of Upper Egypt’s Qena governorate Abdel Hamid El Haggan to examine the possibility of declaring Monday a public holiday in order to enable laborers who are working outside the governorate to reach their polling stations and vote.

Last week, Badr announced that the two days during which the parliamentary elections will be held will not be public holidays except for workers at schools where polling stations are located.

Several media outlets reported low-medium turnout in the first phase of parliament election which kicked off for Egyptians abroad Saturday.

In a news conference earlier this month, spokesperson of the High Elections Committee (HEC) Omar Marwan announced that 2,573 independent candidates, including 112 women, will be competing for 226 seats while six party lists will be competing for 60 seats in the first phase.

Egypt’s House of Representatives will comprise of 596 members, with 448 to be elected as independents, 120 through the winner-take-all party lists system, with 28 seats to be appointed by the president, HEC announced in a news conference late August.

Egypt has not had a parliament since June 2012, after the Islamist-dominated People’s Assembly was dissolved per a court order about six months after its election.

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