20,000 Egyptian expatriates vote on first day of referendum: Foreign ministry

Ahram Online, Thursday 13 Dec 2012

Egypt's foreign ministry says 20,000 expatriates voted in referendum poll on Wednesday, with biggest turnouts in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar

Passports and paper with candidates names during the 2011 parliamentary elections (Photo: Reuters)

Twenty thousand expatriates voted on Wednesday on the first day of polling in Egypt's constitutional referendum.

There are 587,000 expatriates eligible to vote in the ballot. Voting is expected to continue until Saturday.

Voting inside Egypt will begin on Saturday in half the country, with the second half voting a week later on 22 December.

Polling took place at 128 embassies and 11 consulates across the world, the foreign ministry has said.

The ministry said 20,000 people had cast their votes. The biggest turnout was as follows: Kuwait 5,832 voters; Saudi Arabia, Riyadh 2881; Saudi Arabia, Jeddah 3335; Qatar 2500; Dubai 1390.

The referendum is going ahead despite calls for it to be cancelled and for the draft constitution to be rewritten. There are also widespread divisions within the judiciary tasked with overseeing the voting process.

Egypt's Judges Club on Wednesday announced it would not oversee the ballot.   

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