Egyptian interior ministry takes final steps to secure 11,000 polling stations ahead of elections

Ahram Online , Sunday 25 Mar 2018

Judges going on board of a military plane to be transferred to polling stations for supervising Egypt's presidential election (Photo: Egyptian Army spokesperson Facebook page)

The interior ministry announced on Sunday that final procedures are underway to secure Egypt's 11,000 polling stations, which open tomorrow for the first of three days of voting in the country’s presidential elections.

Starting last week, the country’s armed forces begun transferring nearly 18,000 judges, who will supervise and monitor the voting, and 110,000 administrative employees, to their posts nationwide.

Polling stations across the country are set to open their doors from 9am to 9pm. The count will begin immediately after voting on Wednesday night.

Two candidates are running in the elections; incumbent President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Ghad Party leader Moussa Mostafa Moussa.

In the weeks preceding the elections, the National Elections Authority (NEA) said it had authorised 54 local NGOs to monitor the elections, as well as 15 international, African and Arab organisations.

The NEA has also given official permission to cover the elections to 1,558 local journalists, and to 680 foreign reporters.

It also granted eight satellite channels election coverage permits. 

The National Elections Authority has said that registered voters, who number 59 million, can check a search tool on the authority’s website to find out their polling station, by entering their national identification card number.

The largest concentrations of voters are located in Cairo with 7.5 million voters, followed by Giza with 5.2 million, Sharqiya with 4 million, Alexandria with 3.8 million and the Nile Delta governorate of Beheira with 3.7 million voters.

Last week, Interior Minister Magdy Abdel-Ghaffar reviewed the security plan for the polls with ministry officials. The plan was drafted in coordination with the military.

Abdel-Ghaffar warned that the security forces will "deal firmly and decisively with any attempts to disrupt the elections or target vital state institutions".

The results are scheduled to be announced on 2 April, unless there is a run-off vote, which would take place on 24-26 April.

In the 2014 presidential elections, in which El-Sisi won 96 percent of the vote and beat leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi, 24.5 million out of 54 million voters took part, or 47 percent.

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