Only 5 percent of expats voted in 1st round of Egypt polls

A total of 30,531 expatriates cast their ballot in the first two-day round of Egypt’s parliamentary election, the country’s electoral commission said.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, commission chief Ayman Abbas said that 28,675 votes were valid, while 1,856 votes were invalid.

The commission, however, gave no details about the turnout of expatriate voters.

There are an estimated eight million Egyptians abroad, nearly 682,000 of whom are eligible to vote. This makes the turnout of expatriate Egyptians in the first round of the polls on Saturday and Sunday accounts for less than 5 percent of the total eligible voters.

The two-day vote at home was also marked by a low voter turnout, a move which critics say reflect growing dissatisfaction with the Egyptian regime.

A second round of the parliamentary polls is scheduled to take place on two days in late November.

A pro-military bloc led by a former intelligence chief appeared to be leading in the first round of the elections.

The parliamentary vote is the first since the military deposed democratically-elected President Mohamed Morsi in a 2013 coup.

Egypt has not had a parliament since the dissolution of the Islamist-majority assembly in 2012.

In the absence of a functioning parliament, President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi currently holds legislative authority.

The parliamentary election represents the final phase of a political "roadmap" imposed by the army following Morsi's overthrow.

The army’s roadmap also included a constitutional referendum and a presidential election, the latter of which brought Sisi to power.

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