Egyptian expatriates start vote in 2nd phase of parliamentary poll

Ahram Online , Saturday 21 Nov 2015

The vote starts Saturday at 9am local time in 139 countries around the world; Egyptians in New Zealand go first due to time difference

Expat vote
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 (Photo: Reuters)

Egyptian expatriates began lining up late Friday at polling stations in some of 139 countries to cast ballots in two days of voting for the second phase of Egypt's long-delayed parliamentary elections.

Consulates and embassies across the world were to officially open their doors Saturday at 9am local time in each country.

The Egyptian embassy in New Zealand was the first to open to the electorate Friday night at 10pm CLT, given an 11 hour time difference with Cairo.

Japan, South Korea, Russia, China and Indonesia would follow shortly throughout the day.

Due to political unrest and a worsening security situation, the elections would not take place in four countries: Yemen, Syria, Libya and Central Africa.

Egyptians at home are due on 22-23 November to cast their ballots in the second stage of the vote at the remaining 13 of the country's 27 governorates.

The first phase of the elections, held in 14 provinces in October, saw a quarter of the electorate turn out to the polls.

The legislature is comprised of 596 seats: 448 elected as individuals and 120 through winner-takes-all lists. The remaining 5% of the parliament will be appointed by the president.

Of the 120 seats allotted for the party lists, eight will be held by Egyptian expats--the first time those living aboad are given a quota in the chamber.

Egypt has been without a parliament since June 2012 when a court dissolved the body. '

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has held legislative power since taking office in 2014.

The last parliamentary elections held in Egypt came months after the toppling of Mubarak and witnessed a turnout of 62 percent in the first round.

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