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Egypt: Voters Challenge Sisi by Boycotting Parliamentary Poll
In response to a record-low voter turnout in Egypt’s first rounds of parliamentary elections, Freedom House released the following statement:
“With only 10 percent of eligible voters showing up to vote, the turnout underscores how meaningless President Abdel Fatah el-Sisi’s ‘Roadmap to Democracy’ actually is,” said Dokhi Fassihian, senior program manager for Middle East and North Africa. “The turnout was less than one-sixth the figure in the 2012 elections. By banning key opposition parties and jailing tens of thousands of Egyptians for expressing dissenting views, Sisi has taken Egypt farther from the values of tolerance and pluralism that are required of democratic societies.”
Fifty-five million Egyptians are eligible to vote in two rounds of voting for the 596-seat Parliament representing 27 provinces across the country. The last Egyptian parliament was dissolved in 2012 by a court ruling, followed by the military overthrow of Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Mohammad Morsi, in 2013.
An estimated 40,000 political prisoners are being held in Egyptian prisons, including opposition members, human rights defenders, and journalists. Hundreds, including Morsi, have been sentenced to death.
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.