Cel­e­bra­tory at­mos­phere but medium turnout in up­per-class area Dokki

Dis­trict known as ‘celebri­ties’ area as sev­eral film pro­fes­sion­als, foot­ball play­ers live there

The Daily News Egypt - - Election -

Cel­e­bra­tory scenes in front of polling sta­tions in lower- and mid­dle-class ar­eas are sim­i­lar in the up­per class res­i­den­tial and busi­ness-ori­ented dis­trict of Dokki, an area known for host­ing sev­eral gov­ern­ment in­sti­tu­tions, news­pa­pers, banks, and lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional com­pa­nies.

Dokki is also home to sev­eral state of­fi­cials,film stars,politi­cians,and pub­lic fig­ures.OnTahrir Street,a tech­ni­cal in­sti­tute that serves as a polling sta­tion wit­nessed a heavy se­cu­rity pres­ence, which in­cluded mem­bers of the me­dia of­fice of the armed forces who of­fered sup­port to el­derly vot­ers,who dom­i­nated the polls.Also, the hu­man rights depart­ment of the Min­istry of In­te­rior of­fered wheel­chairs to vot­ers who could not climb stairs.

One of the judges ob­serv­ing the elec­toral process at the in­sti­tute told Daily News Egypt that the turnout has been medium, but ex­pected it to in­crease as work­ing hours ended and as the week­end ap­proached. On the low turnout of young vot­ers,the judge com­mented,“where is the role of the mem­bers of par­lia­ment?Where is the Min­istry ofYouth?”

In­deed, a com­mon theme that re­peat­edly arose on the first day of vot­ing at most polling sta­tions was the abun­dance of el­derly vot­ers. Ziad, a cur­rent em­ployee at the Min­istry of En­dow­ment, said that com­pa­nies and gov­ern­ment in­sti­tu­tions should give one of the three vot­ing days off so peo­ple can go and vote. “Not all the peo­ple who work in Cairo live in Cairo.The same with Alexan­dria and Giza. Also, schools should be off, so par­ents can be free to go and vote.”

He added,“if the state is smart,they should put dis­counts on train tick­ets for peo­ple whose polling sta­tions are in far­away gov­er­norates. I know two peo­ple who should vote in As­siut, but they will not go.”

Moustafa, a jour­nal­ist at a sta­te­owned news­pa­per who re­fused to give his last name, told Daily News Egypt that se­cu­rity forces have been un­der­stand­ing and co­op­er­a­tive at polling sta­tions where celebri­ties are ex­pected to show up. “We re­ceive emails and mes­sages that so and so is at­tend­ing, so we get sta­tioned there.”

How­ever, Moustafa said, at polling sta­tions where there was less turnout, there have been some re­stric­tions by se­cu­rity per­son­nel. He stressed,“the press should re­port the truth, what­ever it is. Some sta­tions will be empty, but oth­ers will be busy. It is nor­mal.”

Mean­while, a judge at the Al-Sha­heed Ahmed Abu Al-Da­hab School told Daily News Egypt that se­cu­rity forces have so far been suc­cess­ful in se­cur­ing the elec­toral process. When asked about what oc­curs if the judge is sus­pi­cious of a per­son, he an­swered that al­though the po­lice and army sol­diers are for­bid­den from en­ter­ing the polling sta­tions, they, based on or­ders from the judge, are al­lowed to en­ter if any dan­ger is seen or sus­pected.

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