With voting abroad already taking place, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi told Egyptians to take to the polling stations, calling on them to “rally”, in a speech on Saturday.
Egypt’s parliamentary elections are being held over two phases, the first of which is running from Oct 17 – 19. Next Sunday, Oct 18, will mark the second and last day of voting for Egyptians abroad and the first of two days of voting inside Egypt in 14 provinces.
Voters in the 13 other provinces will vote in the second phase in late November.
“Our lining up” for the sake of the nation is “inevitable,” Sisi told the nation, in a speech aired on state-television. “We are at the threshold” of the final step in the roadmap, Sisi said.
A roadmap to democracy was announced by then-Defence Minister Sisi to the nation in July 2013, following the ouster of president Mohamed Mursi by the military after mass protests against his rule.
“Rally for the martyr and for the child,” Sisi added in his speech, calling on Egyptians to choose well.
The president addressed youth, women and Egyptians abroad asking them to vote and on police and military officers to take the “highest degree of caution” to provide a safe environment for voters.
Originally slated to take place earlier this year, the elections for Egypt’s House of Representatives were postponed upon a court order last March.
Across the 14 provinces where voting will be held first, it was hard to miss signs of the fierce competition for seats in parliament. Candidates have been holding rallies and their election songs have been blasting across the streets in megaphones for the past 18 days.