Number of Egyptian expats voting exceeds January referendum

Ahram Online, Friday 16 May 2014

Presidential Election Commission announced that over 122,000 voters have cast their ballot in polling stations overseas, with two more days of overseas voting left

An Egyptian woman casts her vote for the presidential election at the Egyptian consulate in Dubai (Photo: Reuters)

The number of Egyptian expatriates casting their ballots so far in the May presidential election has exceeded the number of expatriate voters in the constitutional referendum in January.

The official body said that by 7pm CLT, 122,000 Egyptians had voted at polling stations set up at Egypt's embassies and consulates worldwide, said Badr Abdel-Aty told Ahram Arabic news website.

A total of 107,041 Egyptians voted in the January referendum, around 15 percent of eligible expat voters.

Expatriate voting started on Thursday and will close on Sunday. Polls in Egypt will be open 26-27 May.

A total of 144 embassies and consulates are serving as polling stations in 124 different countries.

Abdel-Aty had said earlier on Friday voting has so far been calm and organised, and a "festive" spirit is present among many voters, adding that turnout was specifically high in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Germany, Italy, France, England and New York in the US.

The Presidential Election Commission announced on Friday evening that it would send three digital voting machines to Qatar in order to deal with large volumes of voters in the Gulf nation.

No facilities are available in Libya, Syria, the Central African Republic and Somalia for security reasons. Egyptians who reside in these countries will have to travel to nearby countries where other polling stations may receive them.

Voters are choosing between just two candidates: former army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, the favourite, and Nasserist politician Hamdeen Sabahi.

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