Assessments

Explaining Egypt's Poor Election Turnout

Oct 21, 2015 | 09:01 GMT
Egyptian officials sit in an empty polling station in Cairo's Giza district during Egypt's parliamentary elections on Oct. 19.
(KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images)

The Egyptian government failed to generate strong voter turnout for the first phase of its multi-step parliamentary elections ending Oct. 19. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's government had been counting on strong turnout to legitimize the future legislature, empowering it to push through a series of significant economic reforms. If so few voters turn out for future stages of the election and public sentiment begins to turn against the still largely popular al-Sisi, dissent may delay political and economic reform initiatives, possibly defeating Cairo's attempts to make itself less dependent on financial aid from Gulf states. ...

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