From today, around 63 million Egyptians are allowed to vote for a new parliament. That will again be dominated by supporters of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the army leader who took power in 2013 and 2014 became president. Opposing views do not stand a chance under his rule.
This weekend there will be votes in fourteen provinces. In two weeks, it will be thirteen other provinces, including the capital Cairo. Then there is a second round. The results will be announced in mid-December.
The Egyptian parliament has 596 members. 28 of them are directly appointed by President Sisi. Of the remaining 568 seats, half will go to eight pre-selected parties and the other half to individual candidates, most of whom support Sisi.
The main party is Mostaqbal Watn (the Future of the Nation). This pro-government party captured three-quarters of the seats in the Senate in August, in Egypt no more than an advisory body. Turnout in those elections was only 14 percent. Party leader Abdelwahab Abdelrazek is now Senate chairman.
The parliamentary elections are also not expected to be too high, despite extensive campaigns to get people to vote. The political interest of the Egyptians has been declining for years because Sisi has dissent from both liberal and orthodox-Islamic with a hard hand.
Sisi’s supporters say the president has succeeded in stabilizing Egypt following the tumultuous rule of the Muslim Brotherhood. According to his supporters, Sisi has also regained the confidence of international lenders with economic reforms.