CAIRO, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) — Egypt announced on Wednesday evening a 26.56-percent voter turnout in the first stage of the country’s long-awaited parliamentary elections, far less than that of the last polls in 2012.
With more than 27 million eligible voters, the polling on Sunday and Monday only saw less than 7.3 million casting their ballots, according to the High Election Committee.
The turnout is considered too low compared with the more than 54 percent in 2012 elections that elected a parliament dominated by Islamists.
The polls took place in 14 of the country’s 27 provinces, in which more than 2,500 individual candidates and seven party lists were competing for 286 seats in the coming parliament.
The two-day process represents the first parliamentary elections held under President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, who has been holding the legislative authority in the absence of a parliament since he came to office in mid-2014.
Besides the media, the elections were monitored a variety of third-party observers, including 68 foreign embassies and 81 local civil society organizations, according to the head of the electoral panel.
The African Union delegation said in its report that the polls were held so transparently and peacefully, giving citizens the chance to exercise their constitutional right freely.
The second and final state for the rest 13 provinces, including the capital Cairo, will be held on Nov. 22 and 23.
Egypt, the most populous Arab state, has been without a parliament for about three years. The last one, which was elected in late 2011 after the ouster of longtime leader Hosni Mubarak, was dissolved in June 2012 by a court order.