Egypt’s government has voiced discontent with a satirical commentary made by a Saudi-owned channel about the second phase of elections for Egypt’s House of Representatives.
"Oh God make it (the second phase) vibrant with voter turnout and do not let us down just like the first phase,” stated Nicole Tannoury, a senior anchor at the Dubai-based al-Arabiya satellite channel, preceeding a program on Egypt’s elections which also satirically focused on peculiarities of the first round held late October.
She was mocking a widely-observed weak turnout during the first round, which the High Elections Commission later put at 26 percent.
"Based on impartial statistics and disregarding gloaters, the turnout was 15 percent," said Tannoury.
“That was a farcical approach from a channel that is supposed to be professional,” said Refaat Qumsan, Assistant Prime Minister for Elections.
“The report mentioned that turnout during the first stage was only 15 percent, but the real rate was actually 26 percent, which falls within the global average of 25-30 percent,” Qumsan told Al-Hayat satellite channel late Saturday.
The second phase of elections for the 569-seat council will end on November 23. Runoffs, if needed, will end on December 2.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm