A woman casts her vote at a polling station in the Zamalek district of Egypt s capital Cairo during the presidential elections on December 11, 2023. AP
All electoral subcommittees opened on time, except for one committee in the Shubra district, in north Cairo, which experienced a minor delay before resuming operations, said Ahmed Bendari, the executive director of the National Election Authority, after a follow-up online meeting with several judges overseeing polling stations.
Several public figures and statemen cast their votes earlier today, including Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala El-Said and Minister of Military Production Mohamed Saleh El-Din.
The NEA said the voting process on the first day of elections ran smoothly despite a few violations reported by observers and candidates’ campaigns, according to a statement issued on Sunday evening.
A woman casts her vote at a polling station in the Zamalek district of Egypt's capital Cairo during the presidential elections on December 11, 2023.
The NEA added that the operation time of some polling stations was extended past its initial time, 9 pm, due to the high turnout.
Global media agreed – almost unanimously – that voting on the first day of Egypt’s 2024 presidential elections went smoothly with high turnout at polling stations nationwide, the Egyptian State Information Service (SIS) said in a report on Saturday evening.
The SIS, Rashwan noted, received no complaints from foreign media correspondents who covered the election and observed polling stations nationwide, whether individually or as part of groups authorized by the SIS.
Foreign coverage also made no negative observations other than “the general state of the economic climate and the difficulties faced by Egyptians,” he added.
Moreover, numerous reports drew a connection between the elections and events in Gaza, suggesting that heightened tension on the Egyptian borders positively influenced the turnout in the poll and the prospects of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi winning a new term, according to Rashwan.
Rashwan added that foreign correspondents and observers reported no voting irregularities or other violations of election integrity.
The SIS authorized 528 journalists from 33 countries representing 110 media entities to cover the elections.
A total of 67 million Egyptians are eligible to vote in the three-day elections.
The electoral process is being supervised by 15,000 judges distributed at 11,631 sub-committees across 9,376 polling stations countrywide.
The presidential candidates, including the frontrunner and incumbent president Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, cast their votes early Sunday at their respective polling stations.
El-Sisi, seeking reelection for the third time under the star symbol, faces competition from three other candidates in this election.
Among the contenders is Farid Zahran, the leader of the leftist opposition Social Democratic Party, with the sun as his electoral symbol; Abdel-Sanad Yamama, who represents the Wafd party and whose electoral symbol is the palm tree; and Hazem Omar, the candidate from the People's Republican Party who uses the ladder as his electoral symbol.