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Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Egypt election will be secured by army and police: PEC head

Secretary-general of the Presidential Elections Commission (PEC) urges Egyptians to go vote, assures safety of election

Ahram Online, Thursday 22 May 2014
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The head of the judicial body overseeing Egypt's presidential election next week has assured voters that polling stations will be secured by the police and army, according to Al-Ahram's Arabic news website.

Tarek Shebl, secretary-general of the Presidential Elections Commission (PEC), also urged Egyptians to participate in the vote.

"I am asking all Egyptians to participate in the upcoming election. We do not expect turnout in Egypt to be less than the expat [vote]," Shebl told Al-Ahram.

Egyptians abroad wrapped up voting earlier this week at over 120 embassies and consulates worldwide. Around 318,000 expats cast their ballots, about 7,000 more than in the 2012 election that brought Islamist president Mohamed Morsi to power.

The finally tally of this year's expat vote showed overwhelming support for ex-military chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, who secured almost 95 percent of the vote, according to the PEC's figures. El-Sisi's only other challenger, Nasserist candidate Hamdeen Sabahi, garnered 4.5 percent.

Securing the election has been a source of concern for both officials and the public. Ahead of the vote, the country's largest Islamist coalition – the National Authority to Support Legitimacy (NASL) – has called for an escalation of its defiant stance towards Egypt's interim authorities.

Shebl said that the PEC has met several times with officials from the military and police to develop a security plan for the domestic vote next week – scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, 26-27 May.

Egypt has been gripped by a militant insurgency since Morsi's ouster last July, with hundreds killed in bombings and attacks.

Early on Thursday, two people were reported killed in a bombing in southern Cairo. A source told Al-Ahram that the dead were likely the intended bombers.

It wasn't the first attack of the week. On Monday, gunmen killed three policemen at Cairo's Al-Azhar University – scene of ongoing student unrest against the interim authorities since the start of the academic term last year.

Regarding the vote itself, Shebl said that 15,397 judges supervising the elections have been distributed across electoral commissions nationwide.

He also reported that there will be 352 general polling stations and 14,200 local ones across Egypt.

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