Voting for a new parliament begins in Egypt

2015-10-18 12:53
(File, Khaled Desouki, AFP)

(File, Khaled Desouki, AFP)

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Cairo - Polling stations opened on Sunday in 14 of Egypt's 27 governorates for the first round of parliamentary elections, the country's first since the army toppled Islamist president Mohammed Morsi more than two years ago.

Local TV stations showed small numbers of people waiting to cast their ballots in Alexandria, Egypt's second big city, and Assiut in the southern part of the country, amid tight security.

Some 430 000 security troops have been deployed, local media reported.

Egypt has seen a wave of deadly militant attacks since Morsi was deposed in July 2013 following massive street protests against his rule.

About 27.4 million Egyptians are eligible to vote in the first round running over two consecutive days.

The number of seats up for grabs in the first round is 286, contested by 2 573 candidates including 112 women.

Polling stations are scheduled to close at 21:00 (19:00 GMT).

The final results of this round are expected to be announced on October 30.

The two-round vote running through December is the third and last step in an army-backed transition plan announced following Morsi's overthrow.

The two other steps were writing a new constitution and holding a presidential election.

Under a 2014 constitution, the parliament has vast powers including the right to impeach the president and call for early presidential elections.

However, the coming assembly with a five-year term is unlikely to pose a serious challenge to President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi, as a large number of contenders openly back the ex-army general who led Morsi's toppling.

The legislature will be Egypt's first in more than three years.

In 2012, the country's top court dissolved the Islamist-led legislature, saying it had been elected on faulty rules.

Read more on:    mohammed morsi  |  egypt  |  northern africa

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