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Liberal Democracy Institute
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Live Updates on the Senate Elections in Egypt, Day-2
Egyptian woman voting at Senate Elections Egypt
Day 2 (Wednesday, 12 August 2020):
* Today is the second day of voting at the Senate Elections in Egypt. In this post, we will be publishing observations from LDI team on the proceedings of the elections besides some information on the background of the electoral process and its political context. We will keep updating the post as the day progresses.
* To review LDI account of life observations and comments on Day1 of the Senate Elections, please GO HERE.
* The second day of Egypt's Senate Elections started on a quiet note. The voting stations/ subcommittee started on time (at 9am), except for a few subcommittees that started a few minutes after 9am. By 9:30am, all voting subcommittees nationwide were already open and receiving voters.
* Ironically, the voter turnout in rural cities and urban popular areas is still on the rise compared to citizens' participation in urban upper and middle class cities and neighborhoods, where people are better educated about politics.
* The involvement of local community leaders in encouraging citizens to participate in the elections may explain this counterintuitive contradiction in voters' participation rates; as community leaders are usually more influential and mostly respected by local citizens in rural cities and popular areas compared to urban areas.
* Another interesting observation on the relatively high voter turnout, in general, is that citizens do not appreciate the importance of having an bicameral parliament. In 2012, during the peak of the political sentiment ignited by 2011 Revolution, the voter turnout reached slightly over 15%. That was a record number!
* Despite the relatively high voter turnout in the Senate Elections, this time, it is fairly expected (based on observation) that the number of the invalid votes will reach a record high. Many citizens, especially the illiterate find the electoral system foreign for them.
* Each voter is given two papers; one very short (for the one and only list) and one very long for the individual candidates. The voter has to pick a number of candidates (between 7-10) from a list of average 100 candidates. It is confusing, even for the well-educated voter!
* Due to COVID-19 crisis, all candidates (young and old) of #Egypt_senate_elections_2020depended heavily on online publicity and social media platforms, especially Facebook, in promoting their electoral campaigns and launching anti-campaigns on their opponents.
* As voting is scheduled to end in a few minutes (at 9pm CLT) the number of voters increased! Egyptians are known for their habit of keeping tasks to the last hour before the deadline :-)
* After the closure of voting tonight, at 9pm CLT, the National Election Authority (NEA), shall proceed, immediately, with counting votes and announcing statistics on voting citizens and voters turnout.
* Then, for one week, the National Election Authority shall receive and decide on complaints filed by candidates or civil society organizations, if any.
* After announcing elections' results, the President of the State will look into names of nominees to be appointed to the remaining 100 seats. The Senate consists of 300 seats; 200 seats for elected members and 100 seats for the members appointed by the president.
* Before the end of August, the names of the 100 appointed members of the new Senate should be announced.