Egyptians start voting for revived upper house of parliament
Egyptians started voting on Tuesday for the Senate, the upper chamber of parliament that was revived as part of constitutional amendments approved in a referendum last year — an election that comes as the country faces an uptick in daily numbers of new coronavirus cases.
Authorities have said face masks would be handed out to voters for free and polling stations were disinfected ahead of the balloting to ease concerns amid the pandemic.
The vote is mostly a symbolic exercise as the Senate — unlike the House of Representatives, the lower chamber — has no legislative powers and will have mainly an advisory role. It replaces the Shura Council, which was dissolved in 2014.
The balloting will extend for two days to allow for a maximum turnout as some 63 million voters are eligible to cast ballots. They will choose two thirds of the 300-member Senate, with 787 candidates running for those 200 Senate seats. Egyptian expats abroad voted on Sunday and Monday.