Egypt's NEA says hopes for greater turnout over next two days of voting

Ahram Online , Monday 26 Mar 2018

NEA spokesman El-Sherif
File Photo: NEA spokesman Mahmoud El-Sherif (Photo: Screenshot from ON Live streams)

The Egyptian National Elections Authority has said it hopes for more voters to turnout in the coming days, adding that the process is expected to be as “orderly” as on the first day of voting in the country's 2018 presidential election.

Speaking at a press conference shortly after polls closed at 9pm, NEA spokesman Mahmoud El-Sherif said indicators observed until the end of the first day of voting showed turnout was highest in Cairo, Giza, Alexandria, Sharqiya, and North Sinai governorates.

Polls will open for a further two days.

El-Sherif said the voting in North Sinai, where Egypt's security forces have been taking part in the counter-terrorism initiative Operation Sinai 2018, was an indication that the security situation did not affect the process.

He called on citizens to ignore calls to boycott the presidential vote, adding that the first day had shown that Egyptians had not responded to such calls. He said that such calls were in the interest of “those who hate” Egypt.

El-Sherif did not provide an official turnout figure for the first day of voting.

He added that no complaints were received by the authority, nor were any obstructions of the electoral process observed.

He said that two judges supervising voting, in Ismailia and Cairo, had received medical treatment after experiencing health problems, and were immediately replaced by alternative judges.

El-Sherif also said a voter had died after suffering a heart attack in Upper Egypt's Sohag.

"The Egyptian citizen will not abandon his country, his duty, and God willing, tomorrow and after we will update you with more," El-Sherif concluded.

Two candidates are running in the elections: incumbent President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Ghad Party chairman Moussa Moustafa Moussa.

Around 59 million Egyptians are registered in the NEA's voter database, officials have said.

Polling stations will reopen tomorrow at 9am and the count will begin on Wednesday night.

Read Ahram Online's live blog covering the first day of voting

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