El-Sisi campaign releases early expat vote-count

Ahram Online , Monday 19 May 2014

Strong support so far from Egyptians abroad for ex-army chief, says the candidate's official campaign

Egyptians hold pictures of Egypt's presidential candidate and former army chief Abdel Fattah el-Sisi as they wait to cast their votes for the presidential election at the Egyptian embassy in Riyadh May 15, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)

The presidential elections campaign of former army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi released what it said were early results from Egypt's expat vote, which took place between Thursday and Monday.

The numbers posted on the campaign's official Facebook page were described as early indicators of the vote and showed overwhelming support for El-Sisi in comparison to his rival, leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi.

According to the campaign, El-Sisi garnered 97 percent of valid votes in Australia (4,672 out of 4,816 and 33 invalid ballots), 93 percent in New Zealand (41 of 44 valid votes) and likewise in China's Shanghai (66 of 71 valid votes).

El-Sisi also took 77 percent of votes in the Philippines' Manila (30 out of 39) and 91 percent in Indonesia's capital Jakarta (59 out of 65).

Egypt's foreign ministry said over 300,000 people have voted so far.

In the run-off in Egypt's 2012 presidential poll – between Islamist Mohamed Morsi and Hosni Mubarak-era prime minister Ahmed Shafiq – 301,720 cast their ballots out of 586,804 eligible voters, a turnout of 52.3 percent. Voting in the first round, which lasted a week, saw 311,875 ballots cast.

Unlike the 2012 elections, however, voting via mail or e-mail was no longer an option this year, as expat voters had to be physically present at embassies and consulates.

However, whether permanently residing overseas, or temporarily out of the country for any reason, Egyptians abroad were allowed to cast their votes without prior registration.

The country's newly-issued presidential elections law also dictates that expats must be registered in the voters' database, with a valid national ID card or Egyptian passport containing the national ID number when casting their ballots at the embassy. Voters can find their names in the database on the Presidential Election Commission's (PEC) official website: www.elections.eg

Holders of national ID cards that do not include their home address in Egypt will not be eligible to vote.

The vote will take place on 26-27 May inside Egypt.

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