The concise idiot's guide to the Egyptian elections

Published in Egypt

 By Laws & Processes (Jadaliyya & Ahram Online)

The following article was compiled by Jadaliyya and Ahram Online, and gives a brief and concise insightful guide to the upcoming Egyptian elections beginning on the 28th of November.

Egypt population: (est.) 85 million

Citizens eligible to vote: (approx.) 50 million

Parliamentary composition: bicameral

  • The People’s Assembly: the lower house

  • The Shura Council: upper consultative house

People’s Assembly elections: Conducted over three stages, each involving polling in nine governorates (out of total 27 governorates). Run-off elections are held a week later between front-runners in single-winner races where none of the candidates got 50%+ of the total vote.

 

The Assembly is elected, for the first time ever, through a mixed electoral system, whereby two-thirds of the total elected seats are chosen in accordance with a proportional representation list system, while the remaining one-third is elected in accordance with an individual candidacy system.

Polling dates: The election of the People’s Assembly begins on 28 November and ends on 10 January.

Peoples Assembly elections stage #1:

  • Polling: 28 November; Run-offs: 5 December

  • In: Cairo, Fayoum, Port Said, Damietta, Alexandria, Kafr El-Sheikh, Assiut, Luxor, and the Red Sea

Peoples Assembly elections stage #2:

  • Polling: 14 December; Run-offs: 21 December

  • In: Giza, Beni Suef, Menoufiya, Sharqiya, Ismailia, Suez, Beheira, Sohag, and Aswan

Peoples Assembly elections stage #3:

  • Polling: 3 January; Run-offs: 10 January

  • In: Minya, Qalioubiya, Gharbiya, Daqahliyya, North Sinai, South Sinai, Marsa Matruh, Qena, and the New Valley

People’s Assembly opening session: 17 March

  • People’s Assembly total membership: 508 (10 seats less than the outgoing Assembly whose number stood at 518)

  • Number of elected seats: 498

  • Number of seats appointed by president (SCAF): 10

  • Assembly seats elected via proportional representation list system: 332 from 46 constituencies

  • Assembly seats elected via individual candidacy system: 166 from 83 constituencies

  • Number of candidates running for People’s Assembly individual candidacy seats: 6,591 competing for 166 seats

  • Number of party (or party-coalition) lists competing for Peoples Assembly proportional representation seats: 590 lists for 332 seats

Shura Council elections: Also conducted over three stages, each involving polling in nine governorates (out of total 27 governorates). Run-off elections are held a week later between front-runners in constituencies where none of the candidates got 50%+ of the total vote.

Polling dates: Shura council elections begin on 29 January and end on 11 March.

Shura Council elections stage #1:

  • Polling: 29 January; Run-offs: 5 February

  • In: Cairo, Fayoum, Port Said, Damietta, Alexandria, Kafr El-Sheikh, Assiut, Luxor, and the Red Sea

Shura Council elections stage #2:

  • Polling: 14 February; Run-offs: 21 February

  • In: Giza, Beni Suef, Menoufiya, Sharqiya, Ismailiya, Suez, Beheira, Sohag, Aswan

Shura Council elections stage #3:

  • Polling: 4 March; Run-offs: 11 March

  • In: Minya, Qalioubiya, Gharbiya, Daqahliyya, North Sinai, South Sinai, Marsa Matruh, and the New Valley

Shura Council opening session: 24 March

  • Shura Council total membership: 270 (six seats more than the outgoing Shura Council whose number stood at 264). Number of elected seats: 190, Number of seats appointed by president (SCAF): 80.

  • Shura Council seats elected via proportional representation list system: 130 from 30 constituencies

  • Shura Council seats elected via individual candidacy system: 60 from 30 constituencies

  • Number of candidates running for Shura Council individual candidacy seats: 2,036 competing for 60 seats

  • Number of party (or party-coalition) lists competing for Shura Council proportional representation seats: 272 lists for 130 seats

Total number of candidates running for individual candidacy seats in both houses: 8,627 for 266 seats(Figures released by Supreme Electoral Commission on 25 October 2011)

Election monitoring:

A Supreme Electoral Commission (SEC) is tasked with supervising and monitoring parliamentary elections from beginning to end.

According to the most recent amendments of the 1956’s law on exercise of political rights, SEC is made up of purely judicial members (eleven members). The head of the SEC is Abdel-Moez Ibrahim, chairman of Cairo’s Appeal Court.

The 1956 political rights law entrusted the SEC with 16 roles and powers, on top of which are exercising full control of elections, regulating their performance and ensuring that they are entirely supervised and monitored by judges (a judge for every ballot box).

The SEC is also entrusted with selecting polling and vote-counting stations, preparing voter lists, regulating and supervising election campaigns in a way that should uphold the ban on raising religious and racial slogans and symbols.

Offenders of SEC’s regulations on election campaigns are subject to face prison sentences up to 15 years imprisonment, and a fine of up to 200,000 EGP.

Election spending limits:

The SEC has placed a 500,000 EGP ceiling on campaign expenditure for independent candidates, and 1 million EGP for party lists.

International monitoring of the election:

SEC’s chairman Abdel-Moez has stated that international monitors and media were welcome to take part in “following” – rather than officially “observing” – the upcoming parliamentary election.

Participating political parties and coalitions:

Democratic Alliance for Egypt

Egyptian Bloc

Islamist Bloc (Alliance for Egypt)

Revolution Continues Alliance

Al-Wafd Party

Al-Wasat Party

NDP Offshoots

Other parties

For more on Egypt's Elections, click here

* This article was first published by Jadaliyya, and is published here with permission. This article was developed in a partnership between Jadaliyya and Ahram Online.

Last modified on Thursday, 19 February 2015 09:59

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