Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts Boredom at the Ballot Box in Egypt

Boredom at the Ballot Box in Egypt

It’s almost all over. A parliamentary election for Egypt’s House of Representatives, which has dragged on for over a month and has been about as boring as it has been complicated, is drawing to a close.

There have been two stages to the elections, each with a run-off and a complicated ballot in which the large majority of seats has been contested by individuals running as “independents”.

A minority – about 25 percent – of the total seats in the new parliament have been contested by party lists and there are so many candidates for the “independent” seats that in most cases in the first round, and now in the second round, no candidate had secured a majority of the vote. In the first round of the second stage there were 2,803 candidates competing to fill 222 seats for “independents”, and 196 individuals competing for the 60 seats for party lists.

Political Alliances

There are four serious alliances – broad coalitions combining parties and leading personalities – and one party running outside of the alliances, all of which support President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to a greater or lesser degree.

The For The Love of Egypt coalition – which includes three political parties including Wafd, the oldest liberal political party in Egypt, and two post-Mubarak era parties – is believed by many Egyptians to be…

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