Egypt grants government workers half-day off to boost the low parliamentary elections turnout

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Egypt's official state news agency says the prime minister has granted government workers a half-day off in a bid to boost the low voter turnout on the final day of the second stage of parliamentary elections.

Despite Prime Minister Sherif Ismail's move Monday, the turnout appeared small and at several polling stations security forces and campaigners outnumbered voters. The Egyptian government says turnout was 27 per cent in the first stage of voting last month.

The elections come amid growing security and economic concerns following a suspected bombing that downed a Russian airliner in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 on board. The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the crash.

Egypt has not had a parliament since a court ruling dissolved its Islamist-dominated legislature in 2012.