Egyptian embassies abroad began Wednesday receiving ballot papers from expats voting in the second phase of Egypt's parliamentary elections, in a race heavily fielded by a coalition led by the Mostaqbal Watan Party.
Embassies in New Zealand, the UK, Spain, Italy, Japan, Sudan, South Sudan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, among others, began receiving mail-in ballots at 9am local time.
Around 140 polling stations in embassies and consulates in 124 countries opened for mail-in voting by Egyptians abroad.
The second stage of the elections covers 13 governorates, including Cairo, Qalyubiya, Dakahliya, Menoufiya, Gharbiya, Kafr El-Sheikh, Sharqiya, Damietta, Port Said, Ismailia, Suez, North Sinai and South Sinai.
Voting is scheduled for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
Expat voters select candidates from the individual list system depending on their electoral district, and others from the closed list system.
Registered voters abroad were asked to print their ballot papers on Monday and Tuesday by entering their registration code on the National Election Authority (NEA) website.
Both ballot papers must be placed in envelopes with a voter declaration, photocopies of the voter’s national ID card or passport, and residency documents. The papers must be sent via express mail to the electoral committee of their country’s diplomatic mission.
Around 2,085 candidates are competing for 70 individual seats, while 284 candidates are competing under the list system in two districts.
A domestic vote is set to follow on 7-8 November, with the results of the second stage to be announced 15 November.
The start of the second stage comes days after the NEA announced the results of the first phase of the elections, with the electoral list led by the pro-government Mostaqbal Watan Party sweeping the majority of votes.
The number of seats that were allocated for the first stage was 284, with 142 seats for each of the individual and electoral list systems.
Some 32 candidates in four governorates secured seats under the individual system, with 220 candidates set to compete in run-offs later this month.
The run-offs for the first phase will be held abroad on 21-23 November, while run-offs for the second phase abroad will be held on 5-7 December.
The run-offs will be held domestically for the first phase on 23-24 November, with run-offs for the second phase at home to be held 7-8 December.
The final results of run-offs for the first phase will be announced 30 November, while final results for the second phase are set be announced 14 December.