Upper house elections start today
The first of two phases for the Shura Council or upper house starts today and will continue tomorrow. Voters will be choosing 90 seats out of the 270 seats in this first phase; in the second phase they will choose another 90 and the final 90 will be appointed by the new president when elected sometime in June.
In this first round of voting 13 provinces including, Alexandria, Assiyut, Cairo, Dakahlia, Damietta, Faiyoum, Gharbia, Monufia, New Valley, North Sinai, South Sinai, Qena and Red Sea will take part. A runoff will take place on 7th February.
This first round of the polls has 15 constituencies for party lists and individuals, with about 25.38 million eligible electors voting at 5,032 polling centres from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. There will be 10,722 judges supervising the polls.
The Free Egyptians Party are boycotting the poll complaining that there were too any irregularities in the People’s Assembly elections. Al Nour, the Salafist party has said that the upper house should be abolished because it has limited powers. The Muslim Brotherhood’s party, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) are contesting almost all seats and are likely to consolidate their strong position from the lower house elections.
For this poll the upper house is important because it will have a say in the development of the new constitution and will contribute members towards the 100 member council that drafts the new constitution.
Phase two of the elections includes the governorates of Aswan, Beheira, Beni Suef, Giza, Ismailia, Kafr El-Sheikh, Luxor, Matruh, Minya, Port Said, Qalyubia, Sharquiya, Sohag and Suez and will start on 14th February.