Egyptians trickled into polling stations in the run-off of a staggered election marred by clashes between protesters and security forces that have left 15 people dead in five days. Polling took place in a third of the country’s 27 provinces, with a visibly lower turnout than in previous rounds, AFP reporters said.
The run-off in the second phase of legislative polls, taking place over two days, will see the two largest Islamist parties go head to head for 59 seats in the lower house. The ruling military has decided on a complex election system in which voters cast ballots for party lists, which will comprise two-thirds of parliament, and also for individual candidates for the remaining third of the lower house.
This time voters were choosing individual candidates in nine provinces as well as party lists in three provinces where voting was postponed because of administrative problems in the opening phase.
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) has repeatedly pointed to the elections, the first parliamentary polls since a popular uprising ousted Hosni Mubarak in February, as proof of its intention to hand power to civilian rule.
The procedure to elect a full assembly ends in March, and presidential elections are expected by the end of June.
The elections have exposed a deepening rift among Egyptians. Some see them as the first step to democratic rule, while others say the new parliament – whose function remains unclear – leaves control in the hands of the military.
Full Article: Egyptians turn out in fresh poll round | The Australian.