Thursday, December 15, 2011

PoliticsEgypt: Parliamentary Vote: Stage 3 of the historic voting will include Egypt's rural areas and some urban centres in the midst of these


"The Corner" feature of National Review (December 15, 2k11)
Hat Tip to Dr. Paul Marshall; thanks to author Samuel Tadros

On Wednesday and Thursday, Egyptians will head to the polls for the second stage of the country’s lengthy parliamentary elections. Unlike the first stage, which included Cairo and Alexandria, this stage will take place mostly in the countryside. So far the Islamists have won 69 percent of the seats in the first stage. This result will be repeated in the second stage with an increased percentage. The Islamist tsunami will only gain strength as it moves into more friendly districts.

In the second stage, nine Egyptian governates will be voting to elect 180 members of parliament. Those governates will include for the first time the heart of the Nile Delta, Monofia, Sharkia, and Behira. They will also include Giza, with its urban and rural districts, the Suez Canal governates Ismailia and Suez, as well as the Bani Suif and the southern governates Sohag and Aswan.

Providing more proof of how chaotic the electoral process has been, the election commission has indicated today that it will implement a court order stopping party-list elections in Behira’s 2nd, Sohag’s 2nd, and Monofia’s 1st districts, representing 24 seats. In those areas voters will only vote to fill individual seats. Party-list elections in those areas will be take place simultaneously with the runoff elections for the individual seats next week.

In preparation for the second stage, and after the shock of their terrible performance, the non-Islamist parties have attempted to offer a unified front to counter the Islamist onslaught. The main non-Islamist parties have agreed on a list of candidates to back on the individual seats, while each maintain their separate lists on the party list seats. This will be the test of their combined power, though it is quite doubtful that it will be of any actual value.

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