IMF board agrees to disburse final $2 billion tranche of Egypt standby loan    Egypt sees 9.18 % decrease in manufacturing, extractive index in April 2021: CAPMAS    Egypt's FA to request rescheduling of CAF Champions League final    UPDATED: Flying to Egypt? Here are the newest guidelines you need to know before taking off    Egypt expects to sign Ever Given settlement next week – official    Tennis: Australia's Purcell upsets top-seeded Monfils in Eastbourne    Expert: Transgender Olympic athlete could polarize opinion    MEP questions Washington's logic of hyping up China threat for military expansion    Russia in showdown with UN and West over aid to Syria    'Scary' Sydney virus cluster blamed on delta variant grows    Merkel: Europe 'on thin ice' amid delta virus variant rise    Egypt's delay in including Mo Salah, Mostafa Mohamed at Tokyo Olympics raises concern    Net profits of banks in Egypt reach EGP 29.99bn in Q1 2021: CBE    Euro 2020 brings back long-forgotten memories of glory for qualifying teams    Manchester City's Riyad Mahrez gets engaged to British model Taylor Ward    In Video: Egypt recovers 114 ancient artefacts smuggled into France    Egypt's Health Minister reviews precautionary measures during Cairo Book Fair    Sudan calls on UN Security Council to intervene in GERD dispute    Egypt's Environment Minister launches 3rd phase of project monitoring Fayoum natural resources    Egypt's FM discusses bilateral relations with German counterpart    IMF approves final tranche of Egypt's SBA loan programme    Egypt's Senate commences fulfilling its obligations under clear jurisdictions: Ahmed Diab    Ottawa University holds lecture on determinants of Egypt's national security    Egypt extends 'Kings of the Sun' exhibition in Prague until 30 September    Egypt's CBE extends its preventive measures against pandemic's negative impacts through end of 2021    Berlin's conference on Libya sees hope on elections, foreign forces    0.6% of Africa's adults have been vaccinated so far: IMF's Georgieva    JICA Senior Vice President visits Egypt-Japan School in Borg El Arab 1    Biden faces growing pressure from the left over voting bill    Don't miss Romeo and Juliet ballet shows at the Cairo Opera House    Arab history at the Institute    The second filling    Egypt opens its first anaerobic gasification unit    Egypt keen on negotiation leading to binding deal on GERD, irrigation minister tells S.Sudan's officials    Berlin II Conference calls for immediate withdrawal of foreign mercenaries from Libya    HSBC earmarks funding to a coastal ecosystem restoration project in Egypt    Egypt puts final touches to Dubai Expo 2020 participation    Egypt accuses Ethiopia of using GERD crisis for political purposes    Egypt's Water Resources Minister in South Sudan for cooperation talks    Rotterdam Film Festival closes extended, hybrid 50th edition    APO Group enters new exclusive agreement with Getty Images on African press releases and images    Egypt is on short list of partner countries for U.S. COVID-19 vaccines: embassy    Russia to resume charter flights to Egypt resorts in the coming days    Egypt's Sisi announces allocation of $500 million for reconstruction in war-wrecked Gaza    On International Museum Day, Egypt opens two new museums at Cairo Airport    Egypt's Ahly is establishing a new stadium, expected to be 'sports complex'    Old Cairo's Al-Fustat will be revamped on Egyptian President's directives    Veteran Egyptian journalist Makram Mohamed Ahmed passes away at 86    

Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.

Scramble for the Senate seats
Published in Ahram Online on 11 - 08 - 2020

Egyptians voted Tuesday and Wednesday in the Senate elections amid tight anti-coronavirus measures.
Lasheen Ibrahim, head of the National Elections Authority (NEA), said the number of eligible voters was estimated at 63 million. “They were required to wear face masks and those who decided not to vote would be fined LE500,” Ibrahim said.
The election of the newly reconstituted Senate for Egyptians living abroad took place in 124 countries on Sunday and Monday.
A total of 787 candidates competed for individual seats in the new chamber, which was created as part of constitutional amendments approved last year.
The Senate, whose term is set at five years, will have 300 members. One third will be elected via the individual candidacy system, a third through closed party lists, and a final third to be named by the president.
Early signals on Tuesday showed that the turnout was average but was relatively high during the afternoon and evening hours. Polling stations opened from 9am to 9pm.
President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi and other high-ranking officials including Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouli and Speaker of Parliament Ali Abdel-Aal were keen to vote on the first day on Tuesday.
The two-day vote was held at nearly 14,000 polling stations across the country and were supervised by 18,000 judges.
Many expect that the polls would be swept by the Mostaqbal Watan Party (Future of the Homeland) which fielded the largest number of candidates. Political analysts agree that a National Unified List led by Mostaqbal Watan is sure to win 100 seats allocated to party lists.
“The list led by Mostaqbal Watan ran these seats uncontested and so needs just five per cent of the vote to be declared the winner,” Al-Ahram political analyst Amr Hashem Rabie said, adding that “the 59 Mostaqbal Watan candidates on the Unified List represent 60 per cent.”
The competition for the 100 individual seats up for grabs, of which 95 were contested by Mostaqbal Watan, was tough. Mostaqbal Watan faced competition from 23 political parties.
Rabie said he expected that Mostaqbal Watan will win 50 individual seats. “This will allow Mostaqbal Watan to gain between 70 and 80 per cent of the Senate's 200 contested seats and between 50 and 55 per cent of the Senate's 300 seats in general,” Rabie said, adding that “this is quite enough to make it the majority party in the Senate.”
Mostaqbal Watan fielded 95 individual candidates in 26 governorates. The only governorate without a single individual Mostaqbal Watan candidate was the Red Sea.
Second to Mostaqbal Watan came the Guardians of the Nation Party which fielded 55 individual candidates in 18 governorates. Led by Galal Haridi, the founder of the Egyptian Commandos Army, the Guardians of the Nation won 18 seats in the 2015 parliamentary elections.
Third came the Wafd Party which fielded 23 candidates in 13 governorates.
Rabie said he believed that the tough competition for the 100 individual seats was limited to the three parties: Mostaqbal Watan, the Guardians of the Nation and the Wafd. “These three parties alone are expected to win 80 per cent of the individual seats,” Rabie said.
There were 21 political parties also competing for the 100 individual seats, the most notable of which was the Islamist Al-Nour Party which fielded 17 candidates in 10 governorates. The Republican People's Party, funded by steel tycoon and media mogul Ahmed Abu Hashima, fielded seven candidates in seven governorates. The National Movement Party, founded by former prime minister Ahmed Shafik, fielded 13 candidates in 13 governorates.
The two governorates of Cairo and Alexandria saw stiff competition. In Cairo, 11 political parties fielded 98 candidates who competed for 10 seats. A large number of independent candidates also vied for votes.
In Alexandria, the marathon saw five political parties fielding 67 candidates, in addition to independents.
The National Unified List led by Mostaqbal Watan, which is slated to win the 100 party list seats unopposed, includes some high-profile figures: the party leader, former chairman of the Supreme Constitutional Court Abdel-Wahab Abdel-Razek, who is expected to become chairman of the Senate; construction magnate and former MP Mohamed Al-Morshedi; deputy Chairman of the party Hossam Al-Khouli; Wafd Party Deputy Chairman Yasser Al-Hodeibi; Wafd Assistant Secretary-General Tarek Al-Tohami; editor of the Tagammu Party's mouthpiece Al-Ahali Amina Al-Naqash; Deputy Editor of the weekly Al-Osbou Mahmoud Bakri; and Chairman of the Social Democratic Party Farid Zahran.
Youssef Al-Husseini, spokesman for the Mostaqbal Watan-led National Unified List, told reporters on Tuesday that there was high turnout in Cairo. “This will make it easy for the Unified List to garner the five per cent vote [nearly three million] required by law to be declared the winner,” Al-Husseini said.
Al-Husseini dismissed the claim that boycott calls issued by Muslim Brotherhood television channels broadcasting from Turkey and Qatar had a negative impact on the turnout. “Aware of these calls, political parties did their best campaigning for participation in the polls,” Al-Husseini said, adding that “tough competition for the individual seats will lead to a second final round in September”. Senate law stipulates that if a party list runs unopposed, it is required to win at least five per cent of the vote in order to be declared the winner. If it fails to meet the threshold, new elections will be held.
The results of the first round of voting are expected to be announced Thursday though the vote count will be aired live on TV on Wednesday evening.
A second round of voting is slated for 8-9 September, with the results to be announced 16 September.

*A version of this article appears in print in the 13 August, 2020 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly

Clic here to read the story from its source.