Egypt's 2024 elections conclude, count starts at polling stations: Elections Authority

Ahram Online , Tuesday 12 Dec 2023

Egypt’s National Elections Authority (NEA) announced in a press conference on Tuesday that voting for the 2024 Presidential Elections came to a close this evening, and the vote count has commenced.

Election officials count the ballots at a polling station at Abdeen district in downtown Cairo on De
Election officials count the ballots at a polling station at Abdeen district in downtown Cairo on December 12, 2023. AFP


Ahmed Bendari, the Executive Director of the NEA, stated that the three-day election process went smoothly and encountered no major issues.

Bendari affirmed that the NEA will stick to the announced timetable regarding the presidential elections. He reiterated that the results will be announced on 18 December, as previously stated.

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.

Polling stations that finished their tasks at 9 PM have already begun sorting ballots. Each sub-committee will announce a detailed breakdown of the votes in statistical reports.

Representatives of the candidates, local and international civil society, and media correspondents are attending the ballot counting process under NEA guidance.

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.

Bendari pointed out that one of the main challenges faced by the NEA during voting days was the substantial congestion at the polling stations due to the high voter turnout.

On Monday, the NEA executive director said that approximately 45 percent of eligible voters had cast their ballots by the afternoon of the second day

Around 67 million Egyptians are eligible to vote, meaning that over 30 million people had voted by this time.

Asked about adopting an electronic voting system in Egypt during Tuesday's presser, the head of the NEA said that this would require adjustments by legislators to electoral law.

Citing experiences in other countries, Bendari highlighted the scepticism surrounding electronic voting, especially in significant elections concerning the presidency or referendums that impact state policies.

Candidates running for the presidency include incumbent President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, who is running for a third term in office; Farid Zahran, the leftist opposition Social Democratic Party candidate, Abdel-Sanad Yamama, representing the Wafd party, and Hazem Omar, the candidate from the People's Republican Party.

Meanwhile, Egypt’s State Information Service (SIS) published on Tuesday a report on coverage of the 2024 presidential elections coverage by foreign media.

The SIS reported that 528 correspondents, representing 110 media outlets from 33 countries worldwide, conducted comprehensive field monitoring and visited numerous committees without facing any obstacles.

The agency stated that the foreign media coverage displayed objectivity, providing thorough reports on the electoral process throughout the day. While negative aspects were acknowledged, particularly the challenging economic conditions for many Egyptians due to inflation, some European and American media outlets emphasized these challenges more than others.

The report highlights that many reports linked the elections with the events in Gaza, indicating that tension on the Egyptian borders had a positive impact on the elections and the chances of the incumbent presidential candidate Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.

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