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Egypt: Long Queues in Second Stage of Egyptian Elections

This post is part of our special coverage of Egypt Elections 2011.

The second stage of Egypt's parliamentary elections started today, with Egyptians in nine provinces going to the polls.

Zeinobia, from Egyptian Chronicles, blogs about this stage saying that polling stations will be open in Giza, Bani Sawif, Monufia, Sharkia, Ismailia, Suez, Beheira, Sohag and Aswan.

She adds:

There are 3,387 candidates across the 9 governorates competing for 180 seats in this stage. “2,271 are competing for 60 individual seats while 1,116 are competing over 120 lists seats”

The elections, the first since the fall of former President Hosni Mubarak, started on November 28 and are expected to continue until January 10, 2012, and are being held in three stages.

About 19 million Egyptians are eligible to vote in this second stage, which continue until tomorrow. The candidates are vying for 498 seats in the lower house. Today's and tomorrow's elections will be followed by run-off elections where neck to neck candidates will face off after a week. In this round, constituents are expected to cast three ballots, two for individual candidates and a third for a party.

Once a Parliament is in place, it will be responsible for appointing a committee which will draft the country's new constitution, which will pave the way to the presidential elections later on.

Here is a snap shot of reactions from Twitter about is happening in different provinces across Egypt today.

Journalist Rawya Rageh tweets her experience in Giza so far, complaining about the harassment the Press is facing there. She asks:

@RawyaRageh: Are other journos having difficulties reporting from inside voting stations in #Giza? #Egyelections #Egypt

And continues:

@RawyaRageh: Security this time not as cooperative.. Military asked us to move away from station, police asking us about ‘permits’ #Egyelections #Giza

She adds:

@RawyaRageh: Not being allowed to film inside several voting stations in #Giza despite HEC credentials, being told state TV only #Egyelections #Egypt

Rageh observes:

@RawyaRajeh: Turnout quite low in #Giza, nothing at all like the numbers I saw in #Assiut in 1stround. Any word on other provinces? #Egyelections #Egypt

Nadia El Awady disagrees with this observation, noting long badly organised queues at the polling station in Al Haram, in Al Koum Al Akhdhar.

She tweets:

@NadiaE: There was an endless non-line of women infront of school. I'll have to try again tonight or early tomorrow #egyelections

She shares this photograph on Twitpic showing the chaos.

Long queues at polling station in Al Haram. Photo by Nadia ElAwady, shared via Twitpic on Twitter

Long queues at polling station in Al Haram. Photo by Nadia ElAwady, shared via Twitpic on Twitter

She then asks:

@NadiaE: Can someone tell me the down times for women in #egyelections? Lunch time? Evening? When do i have best chance of finding fewest women?

Other journalists are also reporting long queues elsewhere.

Steven Cook tweets:

@stevenacook: Long lines waiting to vote in Imbaba. People are in good spirits #EgyElections

Hannah Allam is in Suez and writes:

@HannahAllam: In Suez, long lines of voters, heavy army presence. #Egyelections

And it won't be Egypt, if reactions were not infused with Egyptian humour.

Amira Salah-Ahmed jokes:

@Amiralx: Come to Egypt, home of the pyramids and land of perpetual elections #EgyElections

And the Arabist adds:

@arabist: Just heard of a voter dipping his finger in the judge's coffee rather than the ink pot. #egyelections

Meanwhile, Greek blogger and Global Voices Online author Asteris Masouras collects netizen reactions to the elections in this Storify round up.

Also, for more reactions, check out the hash tag #EgyElections on Twitter.

This post is part of our special coverage of Egypt Elections 2011.

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