Run-offs for seats in Egypt’s Senate kicked off Sunday with polling stations open for Egyptian expats until Monday, ahead of a run-off vote at home 8-9 September.
Some 174 senators, representing different constituencies countrywide, were officially named last month after receiving the majority of votes during the first round of elections, while 26 seats are still up for grabs.
Only 8.95 million out of 62.94 million eligible voters cast their ballots during the four-day long voting period in August, a total turnout of 14.23 percent.
Valid votes were recorded at 7.5 million, or 84.58 percent of the total turnout, with invalid ballots numbered at 1.38 million, or 15.42 percent.
Most seats were won by a pro-government coalition led by the Mostaqbal Watan Party, claiming, along with its allies, the majority in the newly reconstituted 300-seat upper house of parliament.
The remaining 26 seats, whose nominees failed to obtain the necessary absolute majority, are distributed over 14 governorates: Qalioubiya, Menoufia, Kafr El-Sheikh, Giza, Beni Suef, Assiut, Sohag, Qena, Luxor, Aswan, Damietta, Port Said, Ismailia and Marsa Matrouh.
The results are set to be announced 16 September.
The Senate, which was created in accordance with constitutional amendments approved last year, will act as an advisory chamber to the House of Representatives. It will sit in place of the Shura Council, the upper house of parliament that was dissolved in 2014.
Two-thirds of the members are elected via the individual candidacy and the closed party list systems, and the rest will be appointed by the president.
The first session of the new body, where senators are required to be sworn in, is set to be held in October. The first five-year term of the Senate will end in 2025.