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Egypt's first round of elections yield 26 percent voter turnout

The HEC has confirmed reports of low voter turnout in the first phase of Egypt's parliamentary elections. The el-Sissi loyalist For the Love of Egypt party swept up all 60 party list seats in the first phase.

Egypt's High Election Commission (HEC) announced on Wednesday that 26.56 percent of eligible voters participated in the first rounds of the Egyptian parliamentary elections.

"The percentage of voters participation was 26.56 percent," said Ayman Abbas, head of the HEC, at a press conference.

Out of 27 million registered voters, roughly seven million took to the polls on Sunday and Monday.

Loyalist victory

According to the country's electoral commission, 222 individual seats will be up for grabs in a run-off round to take place in 14 out of 27 governorates on October 26 and 27, since only four garnered more than 50 percent of the vote.

In an unsurprising victory, the pro-government For the Love of Egypt party loyal to Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi swept the party list vote, gaining all 60 seats up for grabs in the first round.

In a bid to boost

voter turnout,

the Egyptian cabinet on Monday announced a

"half-day off"

for government employees.

The second round of elections is slated for November 21, with a run-off expected on December 2, and is set to include Cairo.

Supporters of the For the Love of Egypt party campaigned on a pro-government platform

Supporters of the For the Love of Egypt party campaigned on a pro-government platform

El-Sissi's rule

The new parliament, which is set to take office before the end of year, is the first since a 2012 court decision dissolved its Islamist-dominated predecessor, which rose to power following the 2011 uprising that toppled longstanding autocrat former President Hosni Mubarak.

Lacking any form of real opposition, the parliament will likely serve as a rubber stamp for el-Sissi's policies.

Former military chief el-Sissi ascended to power in 2013 after leading a military coup backed by popular support in ousting Egypt's first democratically-elected President Mohamed Morsi of the

now-banned Muslim Brotherhood.

ls/bw (AP, AFP, Reuters)

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