Sat, 08 Aug 2020 - 03:24 GMT
CAIRO – 8 August 2020: Egyptians abroad are due to cast their ballot in the Egyptian Senate election on Sunday via the mail.
As they are not allowed to go to embassies like they used to do every election, Egyptian expatriates in 124 countries will be participating in the elections remotely by sending their votes via mail as part of the precautionary corona-virus related measures.
Egyptians who have valid passport or national ID and registered in the voters’ lists are entitled to cast their ballots in the elections, according to the National Election Authority (NEA).
The National Election Authority, which is in charge of supervising the electoral process in Egypt, has excluded expats in Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia from voting in the August Senate elections, due to unstable conditions of these states.
In case of a re-election, the ballot will be held abroad on Sunday and Monday (September 6 and 7).
The voter database contains approximately 63 million eligible voters in Senate election.
The NEA issued a decision on the formation of committees to follow up on the election and report any campaigning violations nationwide. The NEA detailed that such violations include bullying, the use of religious or discrimination symbols, or worshipping places in the campaigning and posing threats to national unity, among others.
Electoral silence begins
Head of the National Elections Authority Counselor Lashin Ibrahim announced on Saturday the end of campaigning for Senate elections 2020 and beginning of electoral silence as of 12 p.m.
The NEA allowed candidates to start campaigning on July 26, after announcing the final list of nominees, till 12 afternoons on Saturday, August 8, a day ahead of the beginning of voting by Egyptian expats on Sunday and Monday, Ibrahim added.
The Law on the Exercise of Political Rights No. 45 of 2014 stipulated a maximum penalty for anyone who neglects to adhere to the specified period for electoral campaigning and the start of electoral silence. Whoever violates the specified deadlines will be punished with a fine of not less than LE10 thousand and not more than LE100 thousand.
Who is running in the election?
A total of 912 candidates have submitted their papers for the coming elections.
Eleven parties have selected candidates to run in Senate elections on lists forming "The Coalition for Egypt." Those are Mostaqbal Watan, Al Shaab Al Jumhoury, Al Wafd, Al Masry Al Democrati, Misr al-Haditha, Al Tagamoa, Al Moatamar, Al Islah wal Tanmeya, Al Haraka al-Wataneya, Al Horeya al-Masri, and Homat Al Watan.
The coalition submitted the Cairo, Middle and South Delta List and the North, Middle, and South Upper Egypt List, and will submit the Western Delta and Eastern Delta lists soon.
The parties have also selected candidates to run as individuals. Mostaqbal Watan has chosen 93. The breakdown is nine in Cairo; eight in Giza; seven in each of Sharqeya and Beheira; six in each of Alexandria and Daqahleya; five in each of Qalyoubeya, Menya and Sohag; four in each of Gharbeya and Asyut; three in each of Menoufeya, Kafr al-Sheikh, Fayoum and Beni Suef; two in each of Damietta, Qena, Luxor, and Aswan; and, one in each of Port Said, Ismailiyah, Suez, North Sinai, South Sinai, Matrouh, and New Valley.
Al Wafd and Al Moatamar have selected 24 and 20 candidates, respectively. The candidates of the latter are running in nine governorates that are Daqahliyah, Sharqeya, North Sinai, Port Said, Suez, Giza, Beheira, Menya, Sohag, Qena, Aswan, Qalyoubeya, and Asyut.
Al Haraka al-Wataneya has chosen 12 candidates to run in Cairo, Giza, Kafr Al Sheikh, Menoufeya, Damietta, Sohag, Gharbeya, and Qena.
Al Shaab al-Jumhoury has selected seven candidates to run in Cairo, Qalyoubeya, Menoufeya, Gharbeya, Alexandria, Hurghada, and Qena, while only one candidate from Al Tagamoa will participate in elections.
A number of parties disclosed the number of candidates running on the coalition's list. Those are Homat Al Watan (7), Al Moatamar (4), Al Tagamoa (3) and Al Haraka Al Wataneya (2).
Al Nour Party - that is not part of the coalition and has a Salafist background - has chosen 16 candidates to run in nine governorates. Those are Alexandria, Beheira, Matrouh, Kafr Al Sheikh, Damietta, Fayoum, Beni Suef, Qena, and South Sinai.
What will the Senate do?
The Senate will be made up of 300 members, with one third to be elected through the individual system, the second third through the closed list system, and the last third to be named by the president.
In addition to this, at least 10 percent of the Senate seats should be occupied by women, and there will be 27 constituencies for the individual system, and four constituencies for the closed list system.
The senator's term of office will be five years and it will start as of the first meeting of the Senate.
A Senate candidate, according to the bill, should be of Egyptian nationality and should have performed the military service and enjoy full political and civil rights and have a university degree.
The Senate will be tasked with making suggestions on how to promote democracy and social peace, as well as maintaining values and freedoms in the society.
It will also give its opinion on suggestions to amend the constitution, the draft national plan for social and economic development, and peace and alliance conventions.
The president may also seek the opinion of the Senate on issues related to the State's general policy and its Arab and foreign affairs.