681,000 Egyptian expats eligible to vote in constitutional poll
Ahram Online, Monday 6 Jan 2014
Almost half of those registered to vote live in Saudi Arabia

At least 681,000 Egyptian expatriates in 161 countries are eligible to cast their vote in the forthcoming constitutional referendum, according to Hisham Mokhtar, a member of the Supreme Electoral Commission's general secretariat.

Mokhtar, speaking at a press conference on Monday, said that 312,557 Egyptians registered to vote live in Saudi Arabia -- over 45 percent of the total number.

Expats will be able to vote on the newly-amended national charter from 8-12 January. Vote-counting will take place from 13-15 January.

Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali El-Esheiri said during the press conference that expats will vote at the headquarters of diplomatic missions, embassies and consulates.

Egyptian expats won the right to vote in elections at Egyptian embassies and consulates abroad following the 2011 revolution.

In Egypt, locals will cast their votes on 14 and 15 January. An estimated 54 million Egyptians, of a population of around 85 million, are eligible to participate.

Tarek Saad, a member of SEC, had earlier announced that the number of eligible voters in the upcoming poll is higher than the nearly 52 million who were eligible to vote on the 2012 Islamist-drafted charter signed into law by Morsi during his year in office.

A turnout of almost 33 percent was reported in the 2012 referendum.

The new constitution, drafted after the one approved under Morsi was suspended on 3 July, will complete the first step in the roadmap that envisages parliamentary elections and a presidential vote mid-2014.