Infograph on elections in Minya. ASWAT MASRIYA/Mohamed Seoudi
In the Upper Egyptian province of Minya, less than a week ahead of voting, ex-members of the now defunct National Democratic Party (NDP) are the strongest contenders in the upcoming House of Representatives elections, with female candidates displaying a very weak presence.
Twenty-three former parliamentarians are contesting seats in Minya, 18 of them former members of the NDP, the ruling party under ousted president Hosni Mubarak who was removed from power after the 2011 uprising.
Most of the former NDP members are clustered in the province's south, where family connections in villages help them win over voters, especially candidates boasting several generations of parliamentarians.
As with all previous elections, tribal and sectarian rivalry play a big role in Minya, where political and religious polarisation is used in elections campaigning. Minya, home to one of the largest Christian communities in Egypt, saw high tensions in 2013 when several churches in the province were burnt down and vandalised in the aftermath of the army's removal of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi.
There are 253 candidates competing over 25 single-member constituency seats, while other candidates are running on three lists for three other seats. Minya is one of 14 provinces included in the first of two phases of voting in elections for Egypt's unicameral parliament.
Of the 308 women who are running for seats nationwide, only eight are in Minya, five of them competing in Minya city, the province's capital.
Violating the rules of the Supreme Electoral Commission (SEC) on campaigning, candidates have been plastering their signs and posters across Minya since May. Yet no procedures have been taken against any of them so far.
The first phase of voting for the House of Representatives in Egypt and abroad will run from Oct 17 -19 and will include 14 governorates: Giza, Fayoum, Beni Suef, Minya, Assiut, New Valley, Sohag, Qena, Luxor, Aswan, Red Sea, Alexandria, Beheira and Matrouh.