Turnout hits 67 pct in Egypt's 2nd stage parliamentary polls

Arab World Materials 18 December 2011 23:03 (UTC +04:00)

The turnout in Egypt's second stage parliamentary election hit 67 percent, chairman of the High Judicial Elections Commission Abdel-Moez Ibrahim announced on Sunday evening, Xinhua reported.

There were all together over 18.8 million eligible voters in the constituents of the second stage, with more than 12.5 million voters turning out at polling stations, Ibrahim said at a press conference.

"There are 11,579,407 valid votes and 949,832 votes are illegal, " said Ibrahim.

Egyptians went to the polls on Wednesday and Thursday in the second stage of voting for the People's Assembly (lower house of parliament).

The second round included Giza, Minufiya, Sharqiya, Ismailia, Beni Suef, Suez, Beheira, Sohag and Aswan governorates, with more than 3,000 party candidates and independents competing for 180 seats.

The 508-seat People's Assembly has 498 seats up for grabs, while the remaining 10 will be appointed by the president. All together, some 50 parties and more than 6,000 independent candidates are contesting the polls.

This election is held over three stages, each with one run-off week after the first round. Each stage covers nine governorates. The whole process will end on Jan. 10, 2012, and the final results are expected to be announced by Jan. 13.

The new parliament is in charge of selecting a 100-member assembly to draft a new constitution.

The Shura Council (upper house of parliament) election will start in late January and end in early March, which will be followed by the presidential election before June 30.

Egypt's ex-president Hosni Mubarak resigned on Feb. 11 under pressure of anti-government protests. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) took power, and then dissolved the parliament and suspended the constitution.