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Egyptians Vote in Parliamentary Runoff Elections

  • VOA News

Egyptian man speaks to election workers during runoff of first-round parliamentary elections, Al-Haram in Giza, a neighboring city of Cairo, Oct. 27, 2015.

Egyptian man speaks to election workers during runoff of first-round parliamentary elections, Al-Haram in Giza, a neighboring city of Cairo, Oct. 27, 2015.

Egyptians returned to polling places to vote Tuesday in run-off elections for more than 200 parliamentary seats where no clear winner emerged in first-round elections last week.

Only about 26 percent of eligible voters turned out last week for round one of Egypt's first parliamentary elections in three years.

The elections are widely expected to strengthen President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi's grip on power.

Voters will cast ballots in 14 of the country's 27 provinces on Tuesday and Wednesday to fill the 596-member parliament. Voting will continue next month elsewhere in the country. Final results are expected in early December, and the legislature plans to hold its inaugural session later that month.

Egypt has not had a parliament since 2012, when a court dissolved the democratically elected legislature that had been dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood of the country's former president Mohamed Morsi. Sissi, the former head of Egypt's armed forces, rose to power last year after a military coup that toppled Morsi, led to his eventual arrest and outlawed the Muslim Brotherhood.

The new parliament will be the first elected since adoption last year of a new constitution that empowers lawmakers to impeach a president or call for early elections.

With almost all of Egypt's political parties sidelined and three-quarters of the available parliamentary seats earmarked for independents, analysts have predicted the new legislature will overwhelmingly support Sissi and his secular agenda.

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