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Low 21.7 percent turnout in Egypt's election runoffs

Egypt's election authority says voter turnout in first round election runoffs earlier this week was just under 22 percent. The country is holding its first parliamentary elections since the overthrow of Mubarak in 2011.

The High Elections Committee announced Friday that the tally for polling was even lower than the 26.6 percent

in the first round ballot

contested on October 18-19.

Officials said only 21.7 percent

voted in this week's runoffs

, which took place in 14 provinces, including Cairo's twin city of Giza and the port city of Alexandria.

Supporters of President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi dominated the first round, winning all 120 seats allocated for lists, according to official results.

Watch video 01:50

Parliamentary elections in Egypt underway

The poll to elect the 596 member lower House of Representatives is being staged in two phases. The second round across Egypt's remaining 13 provinces is due to be held in late November, with runoffs, if necessary, in December. Parliament is expected to hold its inaugural session soon afterwards.

In the leadup to the elections, many opposition parties and their supporters

vowed to boycott the vote

. The main parties in the race are For the Love of Egypt - a coalition of 10 liberal parties that staunchly back el-Sissi's administration - and the Egyptian Front, a secular bloc, which also backs el-Sissi.

Egypt's last general election was held in 2011, months after longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak was ousted in a popular uprising. The first round of that vote saw a turnout of around 62 percent and the election of the country's first freely-elected president, Islamist Mohammed Morsi.

Morsi was overthrown a year later by then army chief el-Sissi after mass street protests against his rule. The Islamist-dominated parliament was dissolved in 2012, and since then el-Sissi has been ruling by decree.

El-Sissi was elected president in 2014 following a brutal crackdown on the opposition, particularly on leftists and supporters of Morsi's Islamist Brotherhood. The Brotherhood has since been banned as a terrorist organization, and hundreds of its members jailed.

nm/jm (AP, AFP, dpa)

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