Vote count begins at Egyptian embassies after expat polls close

Ahram Online , Monday 19 Oct 2015

A number of embassies abroad have begun counting ballots cast by expats in the parliamentary elections

An Egyptian woman living abroad casts her vote during the first stage of Egypt's parliamentary election at the Egyptian consulate in Dubai, October 17, 2015 (Reuters)

Egyptian expatriates on Sunday concluded voting in the first stage of the parliamentary elections, casting their ballots at 139 consulates and embassies around the world, with early counts suggesting the “For the Love of Egypt” electoral list had scored high.

The first stage of the elections sees voters head to the polls in 14 of Egypt's 27 governorates. Voters in Egypt will cast their votes on Sunday and Monday, while expatriates registered in the 14 governorates were able to vote at Egyptian missions abroad between 9am and 9pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Al-Ahram Arabic website reported that Los Angeles was the last city to close its doors on Sunday, at 6am Cairo local time (CLT).

A number of embassies abroad have completed their counts, Al-Ahram reported. In London, 280 people voted, with 276 valid votes.

The majority of party-list votes went to the pro-Sisi "For the Love of Egypt” electoral list, with 126 votes in the constituency of North, Central, and South Upper Egypt, and 122 votes in West Delta.

On the first day of domestic voting, a number of media reports suggested that the turnout was low, with poor participation by young people.

However, the official spokesperson of the High Elections Committee, Omar Marawan, criticised media reports about the turnout on Sunday.

"We must not generalise, not before the run-offs and the second stage of the elections. A larger segment of Egyptians will vote in the second stage," he added.

Voters registered in the remaining 13 governorates, including expatriates, will cast their ballots in November.

Egypt's parliament — the House of Representatives — ‎will comprise 596 members, 448 elected as independents ‎and 120 from party-based lists. The remaining 28 seats ‎will be filled by presidential appointees.

For more on Egypt's parliamentary elections, read Ahram Online's Sunday coverage and follow Ahram Online's Monday live updates of the electoral process.

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