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World Egyptians called to the polls for legislative elections decided in advance

14:00  24 october  2020
14:00  24 october  2020 Source:   france24.com

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Environ 63 millions d'électeurs sont appelés à renouveler leur Parlement en Égypte samedi. © Mohamed Abd El Ghany, Reuters About 63 million voters are called to renew their Parliament in Egypt on Saturday.

The polling stations opened on Saturday in Egypt for legislative elections without suspense, so much the victory of the camp favorable to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the former general in power for six years, is beyond doubt.

It is an election played in advance which takes place Saturday, October 23 in Egypt. Faced with an opposition condemned to play a role of figuration, it is the pro-government coalition of President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi which will win at the polls.

Around 63 million voters, out of a population of 101 million, are called upon to renew their Parliament by electing 568 deputies out of a total of 596. The remaining 28 will be appointed by the president, whose grip is growing on Egyptian political life. .

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For several weeks, giant posters bearing the effigy of the candidates, around 4,000 independents and eight lists have sprung up in Egyptian cities. The candidates, many of whom are representing themselves, are campaigning by text message and with a lot of online videos.

Given the very limited number of opposition candidacies, the victory of the pro-government coalition led by the "Mostakbal Watan" ("Future of a Nation") party is beyond doubt.

The participation rate promises to be particularly low. In August, the Egyptians voted to fill part of the 300 seats in the upper house. This last ballot was marked by a turnout of only 14.23%.

In power until 2030

Elected in 2015, the current lower house is already overwhelmingly dominated by supporters of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. The "25/30 bloc" representing the opposition is very much in the minority.

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Made up of influential businessmen and public figures, "Mostakbal Watan" experienced an additional consecration this week with the appointment of its leader, Abdelwahab Abdelrazek, as head of the Senate.

The re-establishment of the Senate, abolished after the fall of former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, is part of a constitutional reform approved by referendum in 2019 and very favorable to the current president.

The latter provides for the possibility for Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of to remain in power until 2030 , strengthens its control over the judiciary and allows the army to further extend its influence on the economy.

Under the Sisi presidency, Egypt silenced the Islamist opposition as liberal: the Muslim Brotherhood, left-wing activists, journalists and bloggers.

If the opposition was weak under the presidency of Hosni Mubarak, ousted from power in 2011 after a reign of nearly thirty years at the start of the Arab Spring, it was then more represented in Parliament.

With AFP

How to watch election night 2020: the definitive hour-by-hour guide .
Election Day is nearly here, and in a matter of hours we’ll find out whether this is the end of the campaign — or just the beginning of a protracted fight over who won. At 7 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time, which applies to all times mentioned here), we’ll start to see returns from Florida, Ohio, North Carolina and Georgia. Trump won all four of these states in 2016 and needs to win them again in 2020. The good news for viewers is that we should see relatively quick results in these key states, all of which are allowed to start processing (i.e., opening envelopes, validating signatures or even counting) their early votes and mail ballots before Election Day.

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