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Parliamentary election campaigning underway in Egypt

Oct 06, 2015 With the Egyptian parliamentary elections just around the corner, candidates are out on campaign to drum up support. Consequently, printing press workers in Cairo have had their work cut out for them, with thousands of promotional materials printed daily.

Electorates will head to the polls in October 18th and 19th to exercise their franchise. According to the election commission, Egyptians resident abroad will also get an opportunity to cast their votes on November 22nd and 23rd.

In the heat of the campaign, some of the candidates say the campaign window is too short, leaving them with a very limited time to garner support.

Speaking to news men, Ahmed al-Khatib, a candidate for the Dokki and Agouza districts said:

“The period between the voting and the time we’re allowed to campaign by the elections commission is very short – it’s no longer than 17 days, and for somebody like me whose district constitutes of two areas, Dokki and Agouza – which are both overpopulated – it needs a long time to reach everybody,”

But the candidates aren’t the only once feeling the pressure. Print shop workers have also complained that there isn’t enough time or equipment to print sufficient posters and pamphlets.

Mohamed Abdel Tawab, owner of a printing press in Cairo said:

“The election commission did not specify when the elections would be, thus all of the candidates began their campaigns late. It’s a very short period – maybe 15 or 17 days. We started late, so we can’t make the campaigns as it should be,”

He went on to complain on the unavailability of printing materials.

“Raw material suppliers in Egypt weren’t expecting that elections would actually take place and therefore the amount of raw material that were imported are a lot less than the number of candidates running and the work needed to be done. We only just started the work, and we’re looking for the raw material [in the markets] and we can’t find it,”

Egypt has been without a parliament since June 2012 when a court dissolved the democratically elected main chamber. The election had originally been scheduled to hold in March, however a court ruling declared some part of the election law unconstitutional.

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