In Photos: First day of Egypt's presidential elections runs smoothly with high turnout: NEA

Ahram Online , Sunday 10 Dec 2023

Egypt's National Elections Authority (NEA) announced Sunday afternoon that the voting process on the first day of the 2024 presidential elections was running smoothly across all polling stations in all governorates.

Egyptians arrive at a polling station of Shubra Secondary school to cast their ballots in the presidential election in Cairo at on December 10, 2023. Photo: AFP


The NEA, an independent body responsible for organizing and overseeing Egypt's elections, noted that it has been continuously communicating with the general committees, follow-up committees, and subcommittees, pointing out a high turnout among voters across the nation.

Due to its keenness to facilitate the voting process, the NEA has deployed additional judges and members of judicial bodies to several subcommittees, to speed up the pace of the process and reduce the crowding in these committees. 

The authority previously announced that the electoral process is initially supervised by 15,000 judges nationwide.

Earlier on Saturday, Judge Hazem Badawy, NEA’s head, stated that Egypt is the only country in the world that holds elections with full judicial supervision, which is the primary guarantee for election transparency.

The NEA also announced Sunday the passing away of Aziza Tawfik Mahmoud Ali Ragab, aged 63, while casting her vote at one of the polling stations in Nasr City, Cairo. Furthermore, the late Saber Tawfik Saber Youssef, aged 55, peacefully departed while voting at a polling station in Nabrouh City, Dakahlia Governorate.

Meanwhile, Egypt's Ministry of Health and Population announced the deployment of 46 medical clinics within polling stations in 13 governorates and 17 mobile medical clinics in 15 governorates nationwide, as part of the medical security plan for the 2024 elections. 

The 46 clinics, providing citizens with medical examination, treatment, and emergency services, are strategically distributed across various governorates.

These clinics include eight in Matrouh and five each in Alexandria, Damietta, and Sohag, according to Hossam Abdel-Ghaffar, the ministry's spokesperson,

Four clinics exist in Menoufia and Gharbia; three in Aswan, Qalyubia, and Ismailia; two in Suez and Kafr El-Sheikh; and two in Assiut and the Red Sea governorate.

The Egyptian Center for Strategic Studies (ECSS) reported significant turnout in the morning hours at most polling stations visited by the ECSS on-site observation team.

According to the ECSS report, the teams witnessed active participation from female and youth voters.

The majority of electoral committees opened their doors Sunday on time, while only a few committees opened late, the ECSS added.

The voting process is running smoothly in various governorates, with all subcommittees opening their doors to eligible voters on time, without exception, said Diaa Rashwan, head of Egypt’s State Information Service (SIS) on Sunday.

The SIS organized a trip for foreign correspondents wishing to cover the election marathon in North Sinai, which included 24 correspondents representing 18 international media outlets, to facilitate media coverage of the elections across all governorates, according to a statement.

These correspondents covered the voting process in El-Arish, Sheikh Zuweid, and Bir El-Abd polling stations, in addition to checking the current conditions at the Rafah border crossing, according to Rashwan.

The SIS central operations room, which was set up to monitor the voting process, received only four incidents from foreign correspondents related to taking pictures inside some polling stations, all of which were resolved, he added.

International media outlets have been publishing reports since the start of the voting process on early Sunday, focusing on describing what is happening inside and around the electoral committees, Rashwan said.

No falsified or misleading news was published regarding the procedures and transparency of the voting process, or even indicating any interference of state authorities or relevant entities in the process, he stressed.

Egypt’s SIS established on Thursday a central operations room to monitor the voting.

Last week, the NEA approved 24 embassies, 67 diplomats, and 220 international observers, along with 68 local organizations and 22,340 local observers to monitor the elections.

It also approved 4,218 media observers – representing a wide range of agencies, newspapers, channels, and media outlets – to cover the elections, stated Ahmed Bendari, NEA's executive director, in a press conference on Wednesday.

Voting abroad was held on 1-3 December at 137 Egyptian embassies and consulates across 121 countries.

The NEA will complete the overall vote count by 13 December.

Moreover, the NEA will accept appeals against its decisions on 14 December, with rulings issued on 15 and 16 December.

It will also announce the final results on 18 December, if no run-off is required.

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