The Senate elections that have begun on Tuesday August 11,2020 in Egypt, which were previously held abroad, received great follow-up and attention from the international media in a way that exceeded expectations.
A report issued by the State Information Service (SIS) Indicated that the foreign media correspondents in Egypt covered the electoral process in all governorates; as 564 correspondents representing 163 international media organizations registered in the SIS Foreign Correspondents Press Center participated to cover the event.
The report of SIS indicated that the foreign media correspondents were performing their work freely without any hindrance. The report added that the complaints received by the SIS operation room (about 17 complaints) were limited to some photography difficulties at some committees in the governorates of Cairo and Giza as some correspondents have no permits issued to them by the National Elections Commission. Also, some were not able to take pictures in the streets near the electoral bodies without obtaining the necessary permits. All these problems were solved in coordination with the concerned authorities.
All correspondents were directed by the E-mail of the press center to commit to showing their media permits during their coverage and to obtaining the permits from the head of the Electoral Committees for taking photos inside the polling stations.
The State Information Service monitored hundreds of reports and international news agencies that addressed the elections such as the Associated Press, Reuters and the French News Agency, the New York Times, Bloomberg (electronic) in the United States, CNN, The American newspaper, "The Daily Mail", "The Independent", the BBC, Sky News (Britain), the European channel Euro News, the "Russia Today" "Sputnik" sites in Russia, the French News Agency, France 24, Monte Carlo International Radio. the website Atlas Info in France, Deutsche Welle website in Germany, El Pais newspapers, El Mondo and Lavangardia (Spain), Italian newspaper "Securitsa Internazionale", the Chinese "Xinhua" agency, India's VeerNew website, the Nigerian News Agency, the Moroccan Press Agency.
Moreover, large number of Arab newspapers and websites covered the event like Okaz, Al-Watan newspapers in Saudi Arabia, Al-Ittihad and Al-Bayan newspapers in the UAE, Gulf News in Bahrain, Al-Anbaa, Al-Qabas and Al-Jarida newspapers in Kuwait, as well as Arab Net, Sky News Arabia and Al-Ain news sites ... and others.
SIS statement added that world media focused on a number of aspects, including explaining the powers and functions of the Senate according to the recent constitutional amendments (April 2019). They added that the Senate would play an important role in enriching the parliamentary life and would help the House of Representatives to complete many of the accumulated draft laws more accurately, particularly that the conditions of joining the new Senate are different from that concerning the House of Representatives.
They also mentioned that the function of the senate is an advisory one as it prepares laws to refer them to the House of Representatives.
International media also noted that once the second chamber (the Senate) is elected, it would be able to present proposals that aim at promoting democracy and social peace in the country, as well as preserving the principles and freedoms of society.
After that, the Senate would represent the country regarding any constitutional amendments, drafts of social and economic projects, and peace and coalition pacts. Moreover, the President will be able to seek the opinion of this institution on matters that relate to State's policy and its foreign affairs.
Most of the comments and reports also referred to the full judicial supervision of the elections as well as the security measures and the role of the security bodies in providing this atmosphere.
The international media also referred to the peacefulness of the electoral process because there is no competition for the seats allocated to the slate (100 seats) as11 parties formed an alliance and gathered in a unified slate that has no competing slates. It is noted that what is required for this slate is to win only 5% of the votes, and that the real competition is restricted to the individual seats.
Most of the reports tackled the issue of holding the elections amid worries about the spread of the Coronavirus. The New York Times reports that: "Anti-coronavirus measures include sterilisation and nurses at polling stations, and free masks for those not wearing them.
Officially confirmed cases of the virus in Egypt have rebounded slightly after a sharp fall, with some officials and doctors warning of a second wave of infections."
SIS added that among these extensive media coverage, no allegations were reported concerning the integrity of the electoral process, the interference by state bodies in influencing voters, or any violations in the polling stations or around them.