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Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Egyptian expats start voting on the constitutional referendum

Egyptian expats have started to vote on the amended 2012 constitution at Egyptian embassies abroad on Wednesday

MENA and Ahram Online, Wednesday 8 Jan 2014
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Egypt's expats vote in the presidential elections runoffs in 2012 (Photo: Reuters)
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The referendum on the Egyptian constitution started on Wednesday in many countries around the world, running from January 8 until January 12.

The number of Egyptian expats who are eligible to vote is 681,346 in 161 countries around the world.

Saudi Arabia has the largest number of voters with 45 percent of the total expats who are eligible to vote worldwide, the state-run news agency MENA reported.

Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy is watching closely all reports about the start of the voting process in many countries around the world including China, Saudi Arabia and Sudan, according to the ministry of foreign affairs.

Fahmy has also asked all embassies to coordinate with the governments of their counties, by informing them with the exact timings of the referendum so that they take the necessary procedures to secure it.

Voting takes place from 9am until 9 pm acccording to the local time of each country.

In the Egyptian embassy in China, security forces have intensified their presence to secure the referendum and the embassy.  

Magdy Amer, the Egyptian Ambassador in China, told MENA that the referendum will only take place in the headquarters of the embassy in Beijing. Amer also said that according to Egypt’s Supreme Electoral Commission, citizens are not entitled to send their votes via mail.

Amer also stressed that "the Egyptian embassy is keen to ensure transparency and independence to all citizens while voting."

In Saudi Arabia, Ambassador Afifi Abdel Wahab told MENA that the Egyptian embassy in coordination with security forces "will deal decisively" with anyone who disrupts voting.

Egyptian expats won the right to cast votes in elections at Egyptian embassies and consulates abroad following the 25 January revolution.

The head of the electoral commission, Nabil Salib, reiterated that there is a ban on campaigning, including banners or loudspeakers, within 200 metres of polling stations, whether in Egypt or abroad.

Expats who are not already registered to vote abroad will not be able to do so in the referendum. 

Egyptian voters will go to the polls on the recently-amended 2012 constitution on 14-15 January.

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