A street vendor walks under election campaign banners in downtown Cairo, ahead of the second round of parliamentary election, November 19, 2015. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany
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On Oct. 24, Mostafa Abdel-Rahman stepped out of his home in Al-Arish, the capital of Egypt's North Sinai province.The same day, five other candidates pulled out of the race.The fighting in North Sinai, a strategically important stretch of desert bordering Israel, Gaza and the international shipping lane of the Suez Canal, intensified soon after Morsi's downfall.With candidates pulling out, some after receiving death threats from militants, and voters saying they do not feel safe enough to vote, those still running believe the election on Nov. 22-23 is likely to have a measly turnout in North Sinai.In nearby Sheikh Zuweid and Rafah, towns close to the Gaza border that have been the scene of the worst fighting, the candidates have all fled, as have more than 3,000 families trying to escape the unrest.The two towns and surrounding villages are organized under one district, with four candidates vying for one seat. His brother was killed by suspected militants in October, and he expects violence in three of the province's four districts.Like many other candidates in the worst-hit areas, he would prefer the ballot to be postponed.
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