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Voting for New President Begins

Polls opened today for the first day of balloting in the first presidential elections held under the new constitution. The Presidential Election Committee declared that approximately 3 million of the 50 million eligible voters cast ballots for either Abdul-Fattah al-Sisi or Hamdeen Sabahy thus far. News sources reported that the youth turnout for the first day of voting was quite low, with woman voters outnumbering men.

There were some reports of campaign violations, such as Sisi supporters actively campaigning around polling places, Sabahy’s staff being detained or barred from entering at voting locations, and overt police endorsements of Sisi’s bid for president.

The day did not pass without open opposition from the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood’s online website IkhwanWeb encouraged members to boycott the election. As many as 42 supporters of former President Muhammad Morsi were arrested following attempts to forcibly disrupt voting. This follows media reports of seven attempted or successful bombings, two clashes between protesters and security forces, and two election-related murders.

The Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy covered media reporting on the election during the campaign, and their report can be found here: https://timep.org/presidential-elections-monitoring/media-tracker.