CAIRO: For the first time in Egyptian parliament history, 10 out of 18 candidates who have qualified to runoffs in the 9 constituencies of Upper Egypt’s governorate of Minya are Coptic Christians.
Sherif Nady and Rafiq Ramy; two Coptic individual candidates from the governorate’ constituency of Malawi City, have qualified to the runoffs in the parliament elections first phase after obtaining 11,800 and 4,700 votes respectively, Youm7 reported.
Twenty candidates have contested the constituency’s single seat.
Since only one seat is allocated to the Malawi City constituency, a Coptic parliament member will certainly represent the constituency in Egypt’s 2015 parliament scheduled to convene its first session early December.
In the governorate’s constituency of Abu Kurkas, 28 candidates contested to win three seats. Unofficial results informed by media correspondents who attended the vote-counting at the close of polling stations Monday night indicated that Coptic candidate Victor Hanna came first after obtaining 14,214 votes while Emil Habib secured 12,709 votes.
According to the Parliament Elections law, a candidate must obtain the required 50 percent plus one majority votes in his/her constituencies in order to win the seat from the first round.
John Bishoy, one of 39 candidates contested for two seats in Minya City constituency, came first after collecting 17,992 votes.
According to Egyptian law 46 for the year 2014, 24 seats are allocated for Copts inside the upcoming parliament. The quota represents 20 percent of the total seats elected via the winner-take-all party lists system which in total form 120 seats of 596 members of the parliament.
The exact number of the Christian population has been controversial in Egypt; they are estimated at between 10 and 20 percent of the 90 million population making them the largest Christian community in the Middle East and Africa.