Columnist says low turnout for current election shows Egyptians prefer porn to politics

A man casts his vote during parliamentary elections at a voting center in Giza governorate in Egypt on Monday.
A man casts his vote during parliamentary elections at a voting center in Giza governorate in Egypt on Monday. PHOTO: REUTERS

CAIRO (REUTERS/AFP) - The apathy of voters towards Egypt's current parliamentary election is because people are fixated on pornography rather than politics, a popular Egyptian newspaper columnist says.

Dandarawy al-Hawary, writing in the daily Youm 7, said Egyptians have been distracted since an actress said on her television show that she watched porn and encouraged young people to do the same to get a sexual education.

"It is the bitter truth that Egyptian society, across all its sectors, was more concerned with discussing pornographic films... and everyone forgot the most important parliamentary election in Egypt," Hawary wrote.

Hawary, a supporter of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, also cited an "international study" he sourced to Google saying Islamic countries have the highest consumption of porn worldwide.

Most analysts have attributed the low turnout in the election to disillusionment, especially among young Egyptians, with the current leadership.

The first day of a parliamentary election in Egypt saw 15-16 per cent of voters in the country turn out to cast ballots, Prime Minister Sharif Ismail said yesterday.

Voting for the much-delayed 596-member parliament is being staged in two phases ending Dec 2, with the first round of polling across 14 of Egypt's 27 provinces beginning on Sunday.

"The turnout on the first day was between 15 and 16 per cent," Ismail said, quoted by state news agency MENA.

Sunday's turnout was sharply lower than the 62 per cent registered in the first stage of the previous parliamentary election in 2011.