Monitors estimate 11-13% turnout in 1st day of parliamentary elections

CAIRO: The Local-International mission tasked to monitor the Egyptian 2015 parliamentary elections, announced Monday that  turnout of the eligible voters in the first day parliamentary voting for the first round reached between 11 and 13 percent.

The mission deployed Sunday 37 teams of international experts and witnesses with 700 domestic supervisors to monitor the elections in 70 electoral constituencies in seven governorates, the group stated.

The Elections Commission spokesperson Omar Marwan said in a news conference Sunday evening that the turnout of the voters in first day hit 15 percent.

Most voters are women and elderly people in all 14 governorates of the first round, namely Giza, Fayoum, Beni Suef, Minya, Assyut, New Valley, Sohag, Qena , Luxor, Aswan, Red Sea, Alexandria, Beheira, and Matrouh.

The mission said that the elections process went on in good atmosphere except for monitoring irregularities, mostly over the delay opening of the polling stations, while others had recused themselves from monitoring duties. Some of the candidates tried to direct voters to ballot for them.

A total of 27 million eligible voters should elect 226 out of 2,548 independent nominees in 103 constituencies, and a list out of four lists to occupy 60 seats in the new House of Representatives for the first round.

The 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.

The second round will run Nov. 22-23 and in the governorates of Cairo, Qalubia, Dakahlia, Menoufia, Gharbia, Kafr el-Sheikh, Sharqia, Damietta, Port Said, Ismailia, Suez, North Sinai, and South Sinai.

Run-off elections of the first phase will be carried out Oct. 26-27 for expats and Oct. 27-28 inside Egypt. Meanwhile, run-offs in the second round will be held Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 for expats, and Dec. 1 and 2 in Egypt.

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