Cairo, Oct 12 (IANS) Independent and party-based candidates in 14 Egyptian governorates have stepped up campaigning before the period ends on October 18, ahead of the country’s parliamentary elections scheduled to be held later this month.
In a statement on Sunday, the National Elections Authority (NEA) said papers of 4,032 individual candidates and eight coalitions had been accepted, reports the Al Ahram online news website.
“This is the final number of parliamentary candidates in the two-stage election and after the Supreme Administrative Court finished settling appeals last week,” the NEA said.
The two-stage elections will be held on October 24-25 and on November 24-25.
Semi-official figures show that about 2,000 individual candidates and two coalitions — the National Unified List led by Mostaqbal Watan party and the Call of Egypt — are competing for in the first stage.
The first stage’s 14 governorates include Giza, Fayoum, Beni Suef, Minya, Assuit, New Valley, Sohag, Qena, Luxor, Aswan, Red Sea, Alexandria, Beheira and Marsa Matruh.
As many as 284 seats will be up for grabs in this stage, with half allocated to individual candidates and the other half to party lists.
According to the Al Ahram report, the first stage will see fierce competition in some districts such as Giza where businessman Mohamed Abul-Enein and journalist Abdel-Rehim Ali will compete against each other.
The Mediterranean city of Alexandria will also see tough election battles between independent and party-based candidates.
Official statistics have revealed that the pro-government party Mostaqbal Watan has fielded the largest number of individual candidates, with 284 individual candidates in the two stage election.