Egypt says freedom of expression ‘stops’ when Muslims offended

Polling stations in Egypt closed Sunday evening, wrapping up the second stage of a parliamentary election in which candidates loyal to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi were expected to win.

The two-day vote began Saturday and was held in 13 provinces, including Cairo, the Nile Delta and along the Suez Canal.

Out of Egypt’s more than 100 million population, some 63 million are eligible to vote, picking 568 of the 596 lawmakers in the lower house — widely seen as a rubber-stamp body for executive policies.

General-turned-president Sisi, who cast his ballot Saturday, will appoint the remaining 28 deputies.

Since he took office in 2014, his government has launched a severe crackdown on dissent, targeting journalists, bloggers, lawyers and intellectuals.

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The first phase of voting took place on October 24-25 in 14 provinces including the Mediterranean city of Alexandria and the country’s south.

Runoffs are due be held later in November and in December, and the winners will take up their posts in parliament in January.

The new legislature, which is to sit for five years, will be the second to convene under Sisi, who led the 2013 military ouster of his Islamist predecessor Mohamed Morsi.

The outgoing parliament, elected in 2015, was packed with Sisi supporters and featured only a small opposition bloc known as 25/30.

[AFP]

Vanguard News Nigeria.

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