Citing poor weather and work-related issues, the Presidential Election Commission (PEC) decided that a third day of polling was needed to meet demand. The extension of voting was not well received by either candidate or many of their supporters. Candidate Hamdeen Sabahy formally withdrew all of his representatives from polling stations in protest, though he dismissed calls to withdraw from the race. The Dostour Party, which supports Sabahy, backed out of the electoral process entirely in response to the decision and Abdul-Fattah al-Sisi, Sabahy’s opponent, also filed a protest with the PEC over the continuation. Despite complaints from the candidates and local and international speculation on the legality of the decision, the PEC continued to defend the necessity and popularity of the extra day at the polls, saying that electoral turnout will exceed the 40% mark set by the constitutional referendum. The Egyptian media supported the PEC’s decision with a very active get-out-the-vote campaign, though reports of participation from the governorates vary widely, with some as low as 10% and others as high as 70%.
This added day saw its own share of reported electoral violence and inconsistencies. Most reported instances revolve around members of Sabahy’s campaign being intimidated through threats from national security officials, beatings by police, and arrests. Three explosive devices were also defused near polling places before voting came to a close.
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.