Egypt's PM announces half day off Monday for government employees to vote

Monday 19-10-2015 03:01 PM
Egypt's PM announces half day off Monday for government employees to vote

Parliamentary Elections - Mohamed Abdel Ghani/REUTERS


CAIRO, Oct. 19 (Aswat Masriya) – Prime Minister Sherif Ismail announced a half day off today, Monday, to allow government employees to cast their votes amid low turnout on the first day of legislative elections yesterday.

Ismail further called on the private sector to facilitate procedures for employees to exercise their right to vote.

Amid calls for a boycott, the Supreme Elections Commission said yesterday that turnout was a mere 2.27 percent across 14 provinces.

Head of the Judges Club Abdallah Fathi, said in a statement yesterday that judges supervising the polling stations reported “no violations, no breaches, no quarrels and no voters.”

Elections for the House of Representatives are the third and final pillar of the roadmap announced by then-Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi following the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.

Originally slated to take place in March 2015, the elections were postponed in accordance with a court ruling against the constitutionality of the electoral constituencies’ law.

Despite President al-Sisi’s calls on Egyptians especially youth to “line up” outside polling stations on the eve of elections, general apathy has pervaded both the street and virtually on social media, where popular hashtags called for a boycott and poked fun at the entire process.

This is the eighth time Egyptians have been asked to go to the polls since the January 2011 uprising.

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