CAIRO: A total 27 million Egyptian people are eligible to cast their votes in the first round of the 2015 parliament elections, however, many of them have no idea on the candidate’s names or their platforms.
There is no shortage of choice in this election; a total of 5,420 candidates and nine lists were approved by the HEC in September to run for the parliament.
“I will not go down to vote because I have no idea on the elections and the exact number of the candidates and their platforms,” Ali Abdullah, 35, told The Cairo Post Sunday.
Giza-born Abdullah noted that the candidates’ platform lack the credibility, adding “I knew only one nominated party which is the Free Egyptians, but I have no background on the members of (the party’s) list.”
Abdullah blamed the media on the lack of awareness despite massive campaign efforts in his district of Imbaba, Northern Giza, noting the nominees have “no good platform.”
Youm7 correspondent Aya Nabil, who covered seven polling stations, in a district of Giza told The Cairo Post that most of the voters who cast their ballots did not know the names of many candidates, adding there was low turnout since the start of the elections at 9:00 local time.
In Alexandria Montza, a large number of the voters who cast their ballots were electioneering organizers and directed by their candidates, Asmaa Badr, told The Cairo Post.
Only few people in Beheira have background on their candidates; a physician ran for the parliament is likely to be elected as he has “a good platform,” Gamal Abu al-Fadl, Youm7 reporter, told The Cairo Post.
“Most people voted for candidates on the basis of providing people good services or being retired generals, not on their platforms,” he added.
20-year-old student Amr al-Qassas told The Cairo Post that he knew his candidates and the members of the party list he will choose in Nile Delta’s Beheira.
However, he said a lot of people in his district of Damanhur will not go down to vote as they are not convinced the nominees’ platforms.
Egyptian ambassador to Rome Amr Helmy told Parlamany website Saturday that a big number of the Egyptian expatriates in Italy have no idea about the candidates.
The long-awaited parliament elections are being carried out on two phases; the first round is being held in 14 governorates Giza, Fayoum, Beni Suef, Minya, Asyut, the New Valley, Sohag, Qena , Luxor, Aswan, Red Sea, Alexandria, Beheira, and Marsa Matrou Sunday and Monday.
Meanwhile, the Egyptian expatriates born in the abovementioned 14 governorates have been voting Saturday and Sunday in 193 Egyptian embassies and consulates worldwide.
The second round is scheduled on Nov. 22 and 23 in the governorates of Cairo, Qalubia, Dakahlia, Menoufia, Gharbia, Kafr El-Sheikh, Sharqia, Damietta, Port Said, Ismailia, Suez, North Sinai, and South Sinai. Meanwhile Egyptians outside Egypt will vote on Nov. 21 and 22.
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 said.
Egypt’s parliament was consists of two houses: Shura Council (upper house) and Peoples’ Assembly (the lower house); however, Shura Council cancelled and the Peoples’ Assembly was named the House of Representatives in 2014.