Egypt State Information Service (SIS)
SIS: International media highlights increasing turnout for House of Representatives elections
Sunday، 08 November 2020 - 10:14 PM
The international media intensified its coverage for the voting process in the second and final stage of the House of Representatives elections, which began on November 7 and ends on Sunday evening in 13 governorates, including Cairo governorate, Central Delta governorates, the Canal governorates, and North and South Sinai governorates.
The State Information Service (SIS) provided, through the operation room, all facilities for the foreign correspondents participating in the coverage of the second phase of the elections for the House of Representatives. About 570 correspondents, representing 166 media institutions, have been registered in the database of the National Elections Commission, and obtained permits for media coverage to follow up the electoral process from inside and outside the committees.
A report prepared by the State Information Service (SIS) on the media coverage of international media for the second phase of the elections highlighted the following aspects:
- President Abdel Fattah El Sisi cast his ballot in the House of Representatives elections at the "Martyr Moustafa Yousry School" in Heliopolis. He directed to adhere to precautionary measures to confront COVID-19 by adopting preventive methods for all citizens inside and outside the electoral committees.
- Voter turnout increased in the second phase of the elections compared to the first phase. This was exemplified by the gathering of large numbers of voters in front of the polling stations. The elderly and middle-aged men and women were the majority of the voters in the polling stations. The voting attendance rates varied from one region to another, as some committees witnessed a large presence of young men and women, while voter turnout rates increased in Lower Egypt despite the bad weather in some governorates. Media observers and journalists related this to the increase in the number of voters at this stage, and its impact on the voting power.
- The parties participating in the House of Representatives elections are satisfied about the overall electoral process. Assistant Secretary-General of the Tagammu Party Mohamed Faraj said: “We participated in an electoral alliance, meaning that we as parties allied together though every party has its ideas and programs as if we are riding a train together to reach Parliament, and then in Parliament every party expresses its program. This is a new phenomenon that we witness in the Tagammu Party, a point of progress in the preparation for the next elections to be better politically.
- Coordination of Parties Youth and Politicians is about to winning dozens of seats in the next parliament, as it is one of the most prominent forces represented within the "National List for Egypt" led by the Nation's Future Party. It previously won 12 seats in the Senate.
- Conducting elections according to the individual and slate systems. Three electoral slates compete in this stage, namely the "National Slate for Egypt", which is running in Cairo, Central and Eastern Delta District, the "Independents Alliance" in Cairo and the Central Delta District, and the “Sons of Egypt” in Eastern Delta District.
- Increasing international participation in following up the elections. 56 local organizations and 14 international organizations participate in the second phase of the elections, while an international observation mission consisting of 7 civil non-governmental organizations from European and African countries participated in the first phase of the elections.
- The BBC correspondent in Cairo talked to one of the international observers following the electoral process, who praised the electoral process, saying: 'I have no comments regarding the organization process within the electoral commissions, on the contrary, it was going well and I was allowed to visit more than one place. He added, “It is also positive that the violations of the coronavirus precautions have disappeared compared to the last round, i.e. there is greater commitment within the electoral commissions with regard to COVID-19 procedures .'
- Focus on the call of the chairman of the National Election Authority on voters in the governorates of the second phase to go to the polling stations and to take responsibility to choose their representatives in the House of Representatives.
- Various parties and institutions concerned with elections have paid due attention to precautionary measures. For its part, the National Election Authority announced that each judge will receive a bag containing the necessary supplies to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, including face masks, hand gloves and alcohol. In addition to that, governors of the second phase of the elections inspected the electoral commissions to ensure that all precautionary and preventive measures were taken, to intensify clean-up, disinfection and sterilization, and to ensured social distancing among voters during their casting of their votes in order to avoid the spread of the coronavirus. Moreover, a set of disinfectants has also been made available in front of the commissions, and the temperature of anyone who wants to vote is measured by a group of volunteers in all electoral commissions.
- Creating the right atmosphere for voting, the National Election Authority confirmed that the elections were held under full judicial supervision, and that the electoral headquarters were inspected to ensure the structural and technical safety of them. The Ministry of Interior has adopted a comprehensive plan to secure the electoral process by police forces deployed outside the electoral commissions and in all the roads leading to them to facilitate voters access to electoral commissions.
- Ensure the privacy of voting by verifying the data of each voter to make sure that his/her name is on the lists of the committee in which he/ she votes, and the voter votes in the dedicated corner inside the electoral commission.
- The use of strange propaganda tactics by some candidates, where a candidate in one of Delta governorates took a live 'crocodile' during his rounds to the electoral commissions to confirm his electoral symbol, and urge voters to vote for him.
Field follow-up of foreign correspondents: minor complaints and immediate solutions
- Foreign correspondents in Egypt during the two-day of the second phase of the House of Representatives elections in the 13 governorates on Saturday and Sunday (November 7 and 8) provided a comprehensive coverage of all electoral commissions, whether in Cairo or other governorates.
- The Operation Room at the Press Centre of SIS did not monitor any difficulties or problems affecting the electoral process. Most of the problems were about photography inside or outside the commissions, and having meetings with citizens. Immediately, after coordination with the authorities concerned and the National Election Authority, the Operation Room immediately resolved them without any significant impact on the performance of the correspondents.