Egyptians vote on second day of presidential elections

Ahram Online , Tuesday 27 Mar 2018

National Elections Authority predicts "orderly" process on remaining two days of voting as Egypt elects its president for the next four years

Egyptians start voting on the second day of elections (Photo: AFP)

Egyptian citizens headed to polling stations across the country on Tuesday for the second day of voting in Egypt's 2018 presidential elections.

Voting is due to run from 9am to 9pm in 13,706 polling stations in all 26 governorates, with the process due to end after a third day on Wednesday.

Two candidates are running in the elections; incumbent President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Ghad Party leader Moussa Mostafa Moussa. The winner will serve as Egypt's leader for the next four years.

The Egyptian National Elections Authority (NEA) said that initial indications suggeted high turnout on Monday, and it hopes for similar turnout on the two remaining days. The authority said it expected the process to be just as “orderly” as on Monday.

The highest voter participation was registered in the governorates of Cairo, Giza, Qalioubiya, Assiut and Aswan, the NEA said, as well as in Alexandria, which witnessed a terrorist car-bombing on Saturday targetting the governorate's security director. Two policemen died in the attack, but the security director emerged unscathed.

The NEA also reported high turnout in North Sinai, where Egypt's security forces have been continuing their Operation Sinai 2018 counter-terrorism effort. The high turnout indicates that the security problems have not affected the election process, the NEA said.

Fifty-four local and nine international NGOs have been authorized by the NEA to monitor the elections.

"No complaints have been received regarding the elections, either by judges or by voters, on the first day of elections," the NEA said on Monday.

The election process is being supervised at polling stations by 18,000 judges, with tens of thousands of army and police personnel deployed to secure polling stations.

On Monday, a number of state officials and public figures cast their ballots in the elections, including Prime Minister Sherif Ismail, Coptic Pope Tawadros II, and Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayeb, the grand imam of Al-Azhar. The two contenders in the election, El-Sisi and Moussa, were also among the first to vote on Monday.

Around 59 million Egyptians are registered as eligible to vote on the NEA's database, officials have said. The largest concentrations of voters are located in Cairo, with 7.5 million voters, followed by Giza with 5.2 million, Sharqiya with 4 million, Alexandria with 3.8 million and the Nile Delta governorate of Beheira with 3.7 million voters.

The results are scheduled to be announced on 2 April, unless there is a run-off, which would take place on 24-26 April.

In the 2014 presidential elections, in which El-Sisi won 96 percent of the vote and beat leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi, 24.5 million out of 54 million voters took part, or 47 percent.

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