The candidate registration period for Egypt’s upcoming Senate elections is set to end today. The elections are scheduled for mid-August, with overseas citizens to submit direct secret ballots in the run-up to the in-country vote.
There are currently 300 seats to be decided in the upcoming elections, with two-thirds to be elected through a closed list and the remaining third to be appointed by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. The government has installed precautionary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which includes bans on campaign gatherings, mandatory wearing of masks and social distancing at the polls. The Senate—created via last year’s constitutional amendments—wields less power than the old Shura Council and exists primarily to advise the president on constitutional law and socioeconomic development initiatives.
The Nation’s Future Party is the largest contesting party—fielding 100 individual candidates and forming a coalition with 15 other parties to run for reserved closed-list seats—and is predicted to perform well come August. Expect support for al-Sisi’s economic reforms, reduction of bureaucratic red tape and suspension of non-tariff trade barriers to promote a strong private sector. Turnout will be an important signifier of regime support; al-Sisi’s 2018 re-election, in which he received 97% of the vote, saw turnout at an abysmal 41% turnout. However, the solidified authority of the Nation’s Future Party could boost support for expanding Egypt’s regional influence and peacemaking attempts in Syrian and Libyan conflicts.
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Wescott is a Copy-Editor and Senior Analyst. His thematic focuses are international security, politics, economics and public policy.