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Live Updates on the Senate Elections in Egypt, Day-1

Egyptian president El-Sisi voting at Senate Elections
Egyptian president El-Sisi voting at Senate Elections

Live updates and informative notes on the Senate elections in Egypt as they happen:

DAY 1 (Tuesday, 11 August 2020):

* Technically, this is the first real Senate in Egypt's history. Before 2013, Egypt used to have a bicameral parliament, where the upper house was called "Al-Shura Council."

* The new Egyptian Senate will be mainly responsible for conducting constitutional amendments, preserving freedoms, progressing democratization, and deciding on issues related to sovereignty rights, national and regional security, and foreign affairs.

* The minimum age for Senate membership is 35 years-old. Before, Al-Shura council's minimum age was 40. This means we expect to see plenty of fresh and young faces (and young mindset) in the new Senate; which is awesome!

* The new Egyptian Senate is composed of 300 seats, with 10% of seats reserved for women, by law. Plus, women enjoy a quota of 10% on electoral lists. The number of independent and party-affiliated women running as individual candidates (i.e. not on a list) is notably high!

* The National Elections Authority (NEA) is the independent judicial body responsible, for organizing and supervising all electoral processes in Egypt.

* NEA deployed 18000 judges and 120,000 assistants to supervise 14092 subcommittees in 27 governorates.

* According to the voters' database, compiled by the National Elections Authority, more than 63 million Egyptians are registered to vote in today's Senate elections.

* The #Egypt_senate_elections_2020 are monitored by local and international civil society organizations, and the proceedings are covered by local and international media outlets. The National Elections Authority gave permits to concerned civil society and media orgs.

* Because of COVID19, the National Elections Authority decides not to use the phosphoric ink. But, it tightened the legal stipulations to prevent double voting; by punishing violators with one month in prison and a fine of 500-1000 EGP.

* The total number of individual candidates is 787 distributed on 27 governorates. Each governorate counts as one general electoral directorate. The number of electoral lists is one list; "The National List."

* There is only one electoral list "The National List" which includes candidates from the coalition of the most active political parties in Egypt (11 parties) in addition to independent candidates, most of them are reputable businessmen.

* "The National List" is the only electoral list in the Senate elections. Despite lack of competition, the list must be given at least 5% of the votes in each directorate, to win.

* Participation by Islamists and Salafist political party "Al-Nour" is very limited, in the senate elections. Muslim Brotherhood leading members, with political experience, are either in prison or living abroad.

* The Salafists of "Al-Nour Party" are competing only with 16 individual candidates out of total 787 candidates. They are focused on northern governorates in Alexandria and Behiera where the majority of their support base exists.

* Ironically, the Egyptian constitution prohibits the formation or operation of political parties with religious backgrounds. Accordingly, the Salafist Al-Nour Party is illegal but the state authorities have yet to make a decisive decision about its legal status.

* As the first day of Egypt Senate elections comes to an end, within a few minutes (at 9:00pm CLT), there are no major violations to be recorded. The election process went smoothly and the day was quiet, in general.

* On the first day of Egypt's Senate elections, the voter turnout was relatively higher than expected, especially in rural cities in Delta (in the north) and Upper Egypt (in the south). That is perhaps because of the massive campaigns led by community leaders in the past two weeks to educate the people about the Senate's mission, the candidates, and the voting process.

* One inspiring observation from Senate elections Day 1: is the high voter turnout at Al-Asmarat neighborhood, in Mokattam, Cairo. This neighborhood was built by the Egyptian military to accommodate the citizens who were living in random housing areas, under extremely dangerous and inhuman conditions. The improvement of their live conditions, on economic and social levels, empowered them, today, to cast their votes and practice their political rights.

Here is a live video from Youm7 Newspaper Facebook page at Al-Asmarat voting stations this morning:


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