Egyptians cast their ballots Tuesday in a first round run-off of a parliamentary vote expected to elect lawmakers firmly backing President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in the absence of any opposition. Turnout for the first round held in 14 of Egypt’s 27 provinces last week was just 26.6 percent, and there was no sign of any increased enthusiasm among voters in the latest round. One polling station in Cairo’s Dokki district saw only 20 people vote in the hour after it opened at 9:00 am (0700 GMT), an official said. Voting stations closed 10 hours later, and are to reopen at 9:00 am Wednesday for a second and final day.
Among voters who had turned out in Dokki were elderly people, government employees, retired bureaucrats and ex-servicemen, an AFP correspondent reported.
Prime Minister Sharif Ismail urged “Egyptians to strongly participate in this important election to choose their representatives,” a statement said. “It’s in their hands to determine the turnout.”
The last general election was held in 2011, months after the ouster of longtime leader Hosni Mubarak, and the first round saw turnout of 62 percent.