Amid low turnout rates on the first day of the second round of Egypt’s parliamentary elections, Prime Minister Sherif Ismail decreed the second day of voting a half day of work for public sector employees.
The decision was made to encourage millions of state employees to vote, according to news reports.
Although the decree does not apply to the private sector, Ismail reportedly called on employers to give their staff time to vote.
The prime minister issued a similar decree last month amid low turnout for the first round of the parliamentary elections, making the second day of voting — October 19 — half a working day for public sector employees.
Beyond these incentives to vote, the High Elections Commission threatened to impose a fine of LE500 on each eligible voter who does not go to the polls.
The first phase of elections, conducted in 14 out of Egypt’s 27 governorates, witnessed a voter turnout rate of just 26.56 percent.
In this first round, the state-aligned For the Love of Egypt won all 60 seats allocated to lists, with individuals from the Free Egyptians Party and the Nation’s Future Party taking the majority of the independent seats.